Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

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Pandemic Perspective – Part 73 Living a lifestyle of love – Part 1

John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.”

May Christians say that they want to know God’s Will for their lives but once they do will they be obedient to it? Do we really want to know His Will so we can please Him, or is it more a case of wanting to know His Will so we can determine if it fits our wants and then decide if we will follow? In John 14 we find Jesus preparing His disciples for His departure, and as He does He not only reveals God’s Will to be a lifestyle of obedience, but models it in His own walk. Jesus was “obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). It is here that we who claim to be followers of Christ also come face to face with the call of every Christian, to follow His commands.  God’s Will is not about some specific place it’s a practice called obedience. It’s not some hard to grasp concept it is simply choosing to obey His commands. Today we tend to shy away from talking about obedience because we live in a society that is tuned to self not sacrifice, but the Bible has much to say about obedience. For Christians, the very act of taking up our cross and following Him requires a life of obedience. Obedience is careful compliance to the commands of Christ, it is at the very heart of our relationship with God. We can’t have a healthy connection to our Father if we have a disobedient life. Obedience comes from a heart that is at home with Him being in charge. But this is not just a matter of outward compliance to His Will, it involves our hearts not just our heads. It’s not just outward conformity to commands but inward change, the driving force behind our obedience is love not the law. Today we see obedience as obligation, all we see is restrictive rules and so we miss the relationship. It is here that Jesus also reminds us that our love for Him is not just a matter of words but action. So let me ask you do you Love Jesus? Before you answer that first answer take the time to answer these questions:

Does your life show that you love Jesus? 

Do your actions prove your love for Jesus? 

Are the choices that you make based on your love for Jesus?

Would others testify of your love for Jesus?

It is in this simple verse that we see:

  • The Evidence of our love for Jesus 

Jesus begins His statement with the word “IF” because He knew that not everyone who had said that they loved Him did. One of His own disciples, Judas, had already left to betray him for 30 pieces of silver, the price of a Hebrew salve (Exodus 21:32). That’s how much value religion places on the Redeemer, they see the Savior as nothing more than a slave there to do their bidding. Jesus makes it clear that if we really love Him then there will be evidence and that evidence is obedience. What about the life that you are living, are you living in complete obedience to Jesus? Can others see what it looks like to be Christian by watching your daily life? Today there are many who claim to love Jesus yet continue to live life their way. The truth is that their lives do not conform to God’s commands because they are caught up in their own cares. Vance Havner said, “You have not really learned a commandment until you have obeyed it.… The church suffers today from Christians who know volumes more than they practice.” Anyone can say they love God, but the proof is in obeying Him. Following Christ involves conforming every area of our life to him. It requires submitting every relationship, every attitude, every word, every thought, and every action to Him. It involves our whole lives, not just a few specific things that we do or don’t do. Today we practice compartmentalized Christianity, where we choose which of His commands we want to follow. When we see obedience as optional instead of being conformed to Christ we live compromised and carless lives. Listen to what Peter said : “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16.  We are called to be obedient “In all that we do” not in some of what we do. There are many things vying for control of your life like magnets pulling you in different directions. But true freedom comes when we are conformed to God’s Will, when we choose to follow His commands. A compass works, not when the needle does what it wants, but when it is directed to true north. The alternative to obeying God is not freedom, but obeying another authority.  We either surrender our lives to the Savior or we live lives as slaves.