The Call to Obedience
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. (John 14:21)
If you want to show your love for Christ, there is one way above all others: obey all that He has commanded you.
There is a reason for every instruction and every command of God, and they are all for our benefit. But sometimes we don’t feel like being obedient. It’s easier to sleep in than to have a quiet time; we’d rather participate in gossip than have our friends think we’re trying to be “Miss Spiritual;” we justify exaggerations and flattery by trying to be a “friend” to others. But when we justify ungodly behavior of any sort we demonstrate more love and concern for ourselves than for Christ.
God doesn’t use a set of scales to weigh our lives. That is, we can’t expect church attendance, having a quiet time, and giving money to outweigh dis-obedience in God’s sight. John 14:21 says that obedience to God’s commands is how we demonstrate our love for Christ. Church attendance, financial giving, devotions, and other Christian behaviors are pleasing to God, but they don’t cancel out a lack of obedience on our part.
Motives for obedience are important. Obedience without love and devotion is legalism, and obedience as an end in itself leads to pride. But obedience that stems from a heart of love and gratitude for Jesus is done with freedom and joy and humility. It’s contradictory to profess our love for Christ but fail to keep His commands. Jesus Himself asked, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and . . . not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46).
Are there areas of your life (anger, pride, impatience, or others) that you have not given over to Christ in obedience? If we take Christ at His own words, the more we give ourselves over to obedience to His commands, the more of His presence we will know. There are some hard truths about our relationship with God, and this is one of them: obedience matters. When we show ourselves to Him in obedience, Christ shows Himself to us by His presence.
Heavenly Father, Please help me see the areas of my life that lack obedience to your commands. I want to know the fullness of your presence in my life. Amen
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