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.
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？