Good morning, Lord Jesus. I speak out Your name and listen for Your voice.
"If you love Me, obey My commandments.... All who love Me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and We will come and make Our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn't love Me will not obey Me. And remember, My words are not My own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent Me. I am telling you these things now while I am with you. But when the Father sends the Advocate as My Representative -- that is, the Holy Spirit -- He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you" (John 14:15-26).
Does loving You also include obeying You? Or does loving You only include receiving Your mercy and grace and the freedom to do what seems right in my own eyes to follow the leading of my own heart in the logic of my own reasoning? Will Your Holy Spirit lead me in love without leading me in obedience?
I sense there is something You want me to hear about love and obedience.
It seems I hear You speaking in my spirit: "My son, your desire to obey Me is a mark of your desire to love Me. It's a matter of the nature of faith; faith that trusts Me to know and to desire what's best for you. To trust Me and believe if you surrender your life to Me I won’t wreck it. To love Me is to trust Me, and to trust Me is to obey Me. This is the nature of love and obedience I want you to come to understand. Seeking to love Me without the desire to obey Me is loving some idea of Me that is crafted by human minds, not by My sovereign will."
Yes, Lord. Help me understand this more deeply. Help me test what seem to be Your spoken words against Your written Word. "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become My disciples. As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. I have said these things to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete" (John 15:8-11).
There is a connection between love and obedience, between living in faith that trusts You and Your Word and the complete joy we're created to experience in our loving relationship with You and one another.
A Scripture that comes to mind now is from Galatians 5:3-6: "For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love." And this: "For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh.... those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:13-21).
Truly loving You will lead me to seek to obey You because I trust You. And You've given me Your Spirit who is at work in me, changing my heart to love You more, trust You more, obey You more, and become more like You every day (Romans 8:29). "For God is working in (me), giving (me) the desire and the power to do what pleases Him" (Philippians 2:13). As the old song says, help me "trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey." In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
My ODC family, I pray your joy will be made complete as you grow in the desire to love and obey the Lord our God in ever-increasing, trusting faith in Him, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends!
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