John 14-15

"If you love Me, you will obey what I command."  John 14, 15, NIV 

I'm just going to say it and I hope you will not be offended: Many people think that they can love God without obedience. They have convinced themselves that love and obedience are mutually exclusive. They think, "Sure, it's nice to obey God when you can, but let's face it: Obedience cramps my lifestyle!" So they tell themselves that they may not always obey God, but they still love Him. After all, nobody's perfect... so they don't even try. 

And they think that love and obedience are something they can chose between... so they choose love.

Compare these popular thoughts to what we just read from Jesus: "If you love me, you will obey." And He didn't stop there, either. He also said this:

"If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching." John 15:23, NIV

Just in case we are slow to learn, He said this:

"Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me." John 15:21, NIV 

And for the lawyers among us - you know - the ones who say. "But He didn't say that we don't love Him if we don't obey", Jesus also said:

"He who does not love Me will not obey My teaching." John 15:24(a) NIV

Finally, for the truly stubborn who will say, "Okay, so Christ did say all that - but God never did!". Jesus said:

"These words you hear are not My own; they belong to the Father who sent Me." John 15:24(b), NIV 

So, here is the offensive part: If we say that we might not always obey God but we still love Him, we are wrong. And we might be in danger of being lost! This is why we read. This is why we study. It is because we love the Father and the Son. And, it is because the only way that we can obey them, is if we know what they have said in the first place! Does that offend you? If so, then consider these inspired words of the Apostle John:

"We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. The man who says, "I know Him", but does not do what He commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." I John 2:3-4, NIV

They are shorter today, because the truth they contain is critical to our understanding of love, and getting love right is worthy of our extra consideration. May God bless you richly.