Our church’s goal for the year is that we are more in love with Jesus at the end of the year as we are now. They tell us that every week. I stumbled across these verses in John 14:
23Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me….
28“You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 31but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. ”
Jesus loved the father by doing all he has commanded to him. I noticed it does not say, he loved his father by doing God’s will. I think of God’s will as this etherial yet goody-goody, life or death, yet difficult to discern impossible thing. That’s not how Jesus showed his love. He showed it by absolute obedience to God.
Our first step towards loving Christ is that same obedience. I do believe that God reveals His will in this life – but I do not believe that will has to be manifest for us to obey Him; I don’t think we can miss out on those blessings if we are doing our best to love Him – and that always means doing all He commands.
I am reminded of one of the most selfish, unkind people I’ve ever known. It was a girl I discipled a few years ago. She never prepared her Bible study, scribbling in her answers, she next to never went to church, and as far as I know, never did anything for anyone but herself – from talking with her your can see she didn’t think a whole lot about helping anyone else. She was a very angry person.
She was very unhappy. She was rude. She was one of the neediest people I’ve ever known. I poured myself in to her anyway, our little group listened to her and her problems.
She went to a Christian camp that summer where I was a counselor. We all looked forward to camp every year, we loved the fresh air, being outside, seeing the mist raise off the lake, ,but the real treat was the program. They had live, really great worship, speakers and all sorts of fun. She and her friend were going to meet with the main organizer, speaker and team leader, an absolutely gorgeous man, inside and out, who was about 24 years old. They wanted to know how to get the passion for God like he had.
This pissed me off. I could tell her in 30 seconds why she didn’t have that passion. She didn’t obey God a bit. Sure she wasn’t having sex outside of marriage, a big issue in some of our kid’s lives. I think the reason she didn’t was because he had not the opportunity. There are simple commands in the Bible. “Do good.” “Do justice, show mercy, watch humbly with your God.” I did not see her act these simple things out. “Do not forsake the assembly” If she, or I don’t do these things there is no way I can have a passionate, enduring relationship with God.
Jesus shows His love through obedience to His father. We show our love through obedience to Him, too. It was and is my job to love that selfish girl, just like it’s her job to love and submit to him.
One more thing before I go upstairs: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25) I don’t think that the only place Christians can assembly themselves is at church and it has to be every Sunday, but I do believe that I must be a part of a Church. A lot of people say they don’t believe in organized religion. I can respect that; but I believe there is no Christ on earth outside the body. We have to be together to complete one another. This causes God to rejoice over us.