Thursday, May 18, 2017

John 14:15-21 To Obey is to Love

KEY TEXT: John 14:15-17 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

KEY THOT: Three ideas are intertwined and inseparable in Jesus' words here in John 14:15-16: obedience to Jesus' commands, loving Jesus and the indwelling Spirit: "If you love me (loving Jesus), you will keep my commandments (obedience). And I will ask the Father to give you another Helper (Holy Spirit) to be with you forever" (v.16). And, as if to emphasize the importance of these three interlocking realities, Jesus repeated it again in verse 21: "Whoever has my commandments and keeps them (obedience), he it is who loves me (loving Jesus). And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him (via the indwelling Spirit)." If obedience to Jesus' commands is a way Jesus wants us to show we love Him, then we must take his commands recorded in the Gospels seriously: to love him is to follow Him by imitating his walk and work. In short, discipleship lifestyle. 

If we want to experience the power of the Spirit to transform our lives and to use us to transform others' lives, we have to be more than just a "believer" but an obedient disciple that takes following Jesus as Lord seriously. The fruit of that obedience is the Father and Son loving us by indwelling us through His Spirit. Our obedience to Jesus' commands creates an environment of love for Jesus that attracts His presence among us through the Holy Spirit. Revival is only possible when the church takes obedience to Jesus' commands seriously, for revival is nothing but the revival of love for Jesus and subsequent outpouring of the Spirit in the church.

If we want to walk in the power of the Spirit, we have to walk in the love of Jesus by keeping His commands. That means living a life of a disciple who is willing to "deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23).

Faith is not just an individual and private affair but a corporate and public act of living like Jesus as a love-community among non-believers, so that they may experience Jesus' love through His indwelling Spirit as we keep His commands.

Jesus, thank You that You have given us Your commands for us to keep so that we may experience Your love manifested among us through Your Spirit. Amen.

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