Tuesday, 20 April 2021
Title: Love And Obedience To Jesus Leads To Intimacy With Him
By: Pastor Isaac Yim

John 14:21 “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”

In John chapter 14, Jesus spent some intimate time with His disciples. He was preparing them to live their lives as followers without Him being around physically. He did not leave the disciples alone but He promised the coming of the Holy Spirit. This is only for those who are His disciples or followers. The Gospel of John gives us a list of the promises about the Holy Spirit who will:
(1) Be with His followers forever (John 14:16)
(2) Lead us into His truth (John 14:17)
(3) Teach us the truth (John 15:26)
(4) Remind us of His word (John 14:26)
(5) Convict us of sin, show us God’s righteousness, and announce God’s judgement on evil (John 16:8)
(6) Give us insights into future events (John 16:13)
(7) Bring glory to God (John 16:14)

The Spirit of God has been active from the very beginning of time. After the resurrection and ascension of Jesus into heaven, the Holy Spirit came upon all believers. The Holy Spirit gives the followers of Jesus a whole new dimension of living. We will grow to know Christ more intimately by loving and obeying Him.

How can I experience a deeper, closer, more intimate relationship with Christ? You don’t become a Christian by obeying all the commandments of God. There is no way we can do that, “For all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). To be a Christian is to enter into a personal relationship with Christ through faith in His atoning death and resurrection. In his first letter John wrote, “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). In Romans Paul wrote, “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5). We need to constantly remind ourselves who we are. Jesus bought us with His blood. Jesus loved the Father and obeyed His Father to go to the cross for your sake and mine. When we experience His love for us, we come with deep gratitude to Him for what He has done for us. “If you love me, you will obey me.” As the result of our love for Him, we choose to keep His commandments. In that sense, the proof of our love for Him is our obedience. John Piper says, “Loving Jesus is not the same as keeping His commandments. It precedes and gives rise to keeping the commandments.”

Love is always a choice. Love is action. When you love a person, you want to spend time with that person. You are preoccupied with that person. You long or desire to be with that person. You enjoy the company of that person. You always find time for the person whom you love, no matter how busy or preoccupied you are. God wants us to love Him that way. Love for God is Wanting, Desiring, Enjoying, Preferring Him above everything. When you love Him, you will obey Him.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was struggling in intense agony with the cross. But Jesus loved the Father and He obeyed – “Not my will but your will be done”. Obedience did not come cheap or easy. Do you think it was hard for Jesus to obey God’s command all the time? Jesus is God and equal to the Father. Why do you think He still had to obey?

Prophet Samuel said, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” (1 Samuel 15:22-23). Jesus Himself was obedient unto death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:8). What does obedience look like for a child of God? Just as Jesus took up the cross and was obedient unto death, when we pick up our cross and follow Christ this means obedience. “Then Jesus told His disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me’” (Matthew 16:24). When we do this, it is a reflection of the condition of our heart; it is essentially showing that we love the Lord Jesus Christ. John 14:15 says “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

Start with a small step of obedience; I know many of our readers and regular church goers have already accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. That’s wonderful! You need to take another step of obedience; that is to request for baptism. This is an act of love and obedience to Jesus. I urge you to take this step now. Just call any of us pastors or leaders and we will be more than happy to help you.

Prayer for Today

Lord Jesus, Thank You for loving us first; while we were yet sinners You died for us. Teach us to love You and obey You. Forgive us Lord, when we fear the world more than we fear You. Forgive us when we prefer the things of the world to You. Forgive us when we do not put You first in our day and in our life. Lord, help us to love and obey so that we can grow in intimacy with You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

每日灵粮
星期二, 2021年4月20日
标题:对耶稣的爱和顺服引致与祂的亲密关系
作者:严以撒牧师
翻译:陈健萍姐妹

约14:21 “有了我的命令又遵守的,这人就是爱我的;爱我的必蒙我父爱他,我也要爱他,并且要向他显现。”

在约翰福音第14章,耶稣与祂的门徒度过了一段亲密的时光。祂正在准备他们在没有祂陪伴的情况下过上跟从者的生活。祂没有撇下门徒,祂应许圣灵的降临;这只是给祂的门徒或跟从祂的人。约翰福音给了我们一系列关于圣灵的应许,圣灵将:
1)永远与跟从祂的人同在(约翰福音14:16)
2)领我们进入祂的真理(约翰福音14:17)
3)教导我们真理(约翰福音15:26)
4)叫我们想起祂的话(约翰福音14:26)
5)叫我们为罪责备自己、向我们显明上帝的义、宣告上帝对罪恶的审判(约翰福音16:8)
6)给我们对将来事件的洞察力(约翰福音16:13)
7)荣耀上帝(约翰福音16:14)

上帝的灵从一开始就很主动。耶稣复活升天后,圣灵降临在所有信徒身上。圣灵给跟随耶稣的人一个全新的生活维度。通过爱和遵从基督,我们会更亲密地认识基督。

我如何能够体验到与基督更深入、更接近、更亲密的关系?您不会因遵守上帝的所有命令就成为基督徒。我们不可能做到这一点,“因为世人都犯了罪,亏缺了神的荣耀。”(罗马书3:23)。我们是因信耶稣基督而蒙恩得救(以弗所书2:8-9)。成为一名基督徒,就是通过相信基督的赎罪、死和复活,与祂建立个人关系。约翰在他的第一封信中写道:“我们爱,因为神先爱我们。”(约翰一书4:9)。保罗在罗马书写道:“所赐给我们的圣灵将神的爱浇灌在我们心里”(罗马书5:5)。我们需要不断提醒自己我们是谁。耶稣用祂的血买赎了我们;耶稣爱父,顺服祂的父,为您和我的缘故,走向十字架。当我们体验到祂对我们的爱时,我们会怀着深深的感激之情感谢祂为我们所做的一切。“你若爱我,你就必遵从我。” 由于我们对祂的爱,我们选择遵守祂的命令。从这个意义上说,我们的顺服就是我们对祂的爱的证明。约翰·派珀说:“爱耶稣并不等同于遵守祂的命令。爱耶稣先于遵守命令,并导致遵守命令。”

爱永远是一种选择;爱是行动。当您爱一个人的时候,您想花时间和那个人在一起,您全神贯注于那个人,您渴望和那个人在一起,您喜欢和那个人在一起。不管您有多忙,您总能抽出时间来陪您所爱的人。上帝希望我们如此爱祂。对上帝的爱是想要得着祂、渴慕祂、享受祂的同在、偏爱祂胜过一切。当您爱祂的时候,您就会顺服祂。

在客西马尼园,耶稣正与十字架的极度痛苦挣扎。但耶稣爱父,祂顺服了 – “不要从我的意思,只要从你的意思。” 顺服既不便宜,也不容易。您认为耶稣由始至终顺服上帝的吩咐困难吗?耶稣是上帝,与父同等。您认为祂为什么还得顺服呢?

先知撒母耳说:“听命胜于献祭。”(撒母耳前书15:22-23)。耶稣存心顺服,以至于死,且死在十字架上(腓立比书2:8)。对上帝的儿女来说,何谓顺服?正如耶稣背起十字架,顺服至死,当我们背起我们的十字架,跟随基督,这就意味着顺服。“于是,耶稣对门徒说,‘若有人要跟从我,就当舍己,背起他的十字架,来跟从我’”(马太福音16:24)。当我们这样做时,这是我们内心状况的反映;它本质上表明我们爱主耶稣基督。约翰福音14:15 “你们若爱我,就必遵守我的命令。”

从顺服的一小步开始;我知道我们的许多读者和经常去教会的人已经接受耶稣基督为主和救主。太好了!您需要再迈出顺服的一步,那就是请求受洗。这是对耶稣的爱和顺服的行动。我敦促您现在就采取这一步骤;只要联系我们任何一位牧师或领袖,我们都会非常乐意帮助您。

今天的祈祷

主耶稣,感谢祢先爱我们;在我们还作罪人的时候,祢已为我们死了。求祢教导我们爱祢并顺服祢。主啊,当我们对这个世界的恐惧胜过对祢的敬畏时,求祢赦免我们。当我们偏爱世界上的事物多于祢时,求祢赦免我们。当我们没有在我们每一天的生活上和生命中让祢居首位时,求祢赦免我们。主啊,求帮助我们爱祢和顺服祢,使我们与祢的关系更亲密。奉耶稣的名。阿们。