16TH MAY 2022
ACTS 14:5-18, Psalm115:1-2, 3-4, 15-16 & John 14:21-26
Jesus said, "If you love me, you will obey what I command”. Three motives for obedience exist: We can obey because we have to; we can obey because we need to; or we can obey because we want to. A slave obeys because he has to. An employee obeys because he needs to. But a believer obeys God's word because he wants to - for the relationship between him and God is one of love.
Obedience is a central theme throughout Scripture. From the story of creation to the end of Revelation, it's difficult to turn a page that doesn't deal - directly or indirectly - with God's call for obedience. In our time, however, obeying God's commands often is ignored, dismissed, or glossed over. Why? Because obedience slaps us in the face. It confronts our sin. It challenges our lives.
Yet God commands us to obey, not because he is on a power trip, but rather because he wants what's best for us. God's commands are not to kill our fun, but to increase our enjoyment. God would have established Saul’s kingdom forever, but because of his disobedience, it was given to another person. Now obeying God is not like obeying anyone else. Even parents often lead their children wrongly by commanding wrong things of them. But God is perfect and all wise. He never commands of us that which is wrong. He loves us more than any other and would never lead us where it would not be for our ultimate good. Obedience springs from our love (1 John 2:5). John seems to be saying that our love for God is a reflection of God's love for us and a response to it, so that our keeping of God's word could be a sign that God's love had done its full work in us. Made complete means that the believer's love is entire and mature.
Dear people of God, True love for God is expressed in moral obedience. We keep the commandments because of our love for God. When we comprehend what Jesus did for us by sacrificing himself on the cross, our response is to love him and to obey him. Love delights to do God's will because it understands the cost and sacrifice of that love. If we love God, we will keep his commands and that obedience will in turn evidence our true love to God.