Who You Obey, You Love

March 19, 2010

Friends,
Jesus says in John 14:15, “If you love Me, you will obey what I command.” Then in verse 23 He says, “If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching.” In 15:10 He says, “If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love.” And in verse 14, “You are My friends if you do what I command.”

These are just a few verses, yet there is actually an abundance of verses throughout all of Scripture where obedience is equated with love for God (or Jesus) and being in His favor, love, and fellowship. Disobedience, then, results in the opposite –for this life and the one to come.

Let’s reread those verses above. Can we see that they are not suggestions Jesus gives, but statements of fact? Can we see that if we do not obey Jesus’ teachings / commands, then we are considered: “One who does not love Jesus”?

And what are some things that Jesus taught and commanded? Well, here’s a short list of some:

1~~”Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.” (Luke 6:35)

2~~”If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.” (Mark 9:47) For “I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matt. 5:28)

3~~”Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees [the teachings of legalists] and that of Herod [the teachings of the heathen and/or those in authority over you].” (Mark 8:15)

4~~”This [debt cancelled, then later, cancellation recanted… then thrown into prison] is how My Heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” (Matt. 18:35)

5~~”Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body… But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…” (Matt. 6:25,33)

Now, with just these verses I’ve mentioned, grade yourself carefully to see if you are obeying even these few.

1. Are you doing good to your enemies? Or… do you instead slander them, mock them, and try to retaliate?

2. Are you taking drastic measures in getting rid of the things that cause you to sin through your eyes? –Like unplugging the T.V., or canceling the cable, or putting the computer out in the open, or training your eyes and mind in purity while out and about? Or do you instead indulge in lustful thoughts, watch things the pure Holy Spirit (supposedly in you) would never tolerate watching, or play video games that desensitize you to foul talk, theft, murder, and rape?

3. Are you reading the Word of God diligently with the help of the Holy Spirit, already having confessed your sins –including wrong attitudes, words, etc.– and repented in true contrition so that there is nothing hindering you from hearing correctly? And then are you taking what He has taught you, obeying it, and not letting either the legalists or the wicked influence you? Or are you instead going to a church… or hanging out with friends… or participating in internet chatter… –any of which you know is influencing you for the worse, not for the better –behaviorally, theologically, and in your mind, heart, and attitude?

4. Have you truly and whole-heartedly forgiven everyone who has wronged you? That does not mean that you will have continued fellowship with them if they are dangerous, rebellious, vile, or un-Christlike, but it does mean that you do not treat them rudely, you do not insult them, you DO pray for them, and you DO want the best for them. In searching your heart, is this the case? Or are you harboring un-forgiveness, anger, resentment, or disdain toward someone? Are you keeping someone bound when you’ve at the same time believed for God to unbind you through Christ’s work? Are you with- holding mercy –while expecting God to have mercy on you?!

5. Have you cast all your cares upon the Lord, praising Him for His provision for your needs, and truly trusting Him enough that you are devoting the largest portion of your daily time to communing with Him –that you may grow in righteousness and better serve His purposes? Or are you instead spending most of your time catering to your own plans, desires, greed, idols… catering to your body’s wants… building your own kingdom…?

Well, that’s just a sampling in regards to evaluating whether or not a person does indeed love Jesus (–as many say they do.) But Jesus says they do not –if they do not obey what He commands… if they do not adhere to and walk in His teachings. As He says in John 14:21, “Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me.”

As Jesus says in John 8:31,32, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” If you do not hold to His teachings, you aren’t following Him, you won’t know the truth, and you won’t be free. For “everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (v. 34) –not a disciple of Christ’s, thus not a child of God. “Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.” (v. 35)

Evaluate now which one you are… for if you are a slave to sin –even that sin of having food be your master –Phil. 3:19, (or the T.V., or sports, or shopping, etc.), then you have no permanent place in God’s family.

It is a matter of who you obey. For it is a matter of who you love –yourself… sin… the world… another person… a hobby… OR………… Jesus.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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