Loving me empowers you to obey my commands (John 14:15 TPT)
Those who truly love me are those who obey my commands. (John 14:21 TPT)
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching". (John 14: 23 NIV)
We live in a rule based society where, from an early age, we are taught the benefit of obeying them and the consequences of disobedience. Even in my job as an accountant, there are many volumes of UK tax law which must be obeyed and yes, there are penalties if the rules are not followed.
Inevitably, rules are associated with control and one place we shouldn't see this is in the church. Any form of control will take away our uniqueness and try to squash us into the mould of conformity. The consequence of this is that obedience has become a behavioural issue rather than a heart one. In the Old Testament the law of Moses was given as a relational expression of the nature of God the Father. It shows us what he is like and our heart obedience would make us to become like him. Sadly, the law became behavioural rather than relational and so God the Father became distant from his people.
Our relationship with God started with love, all he has ever wanted is to be a Father to us. Jesus brings us back to the centrality of love by summing up the law in these words: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbour as yourself".
It is all too easy for us to swap love for obedience. Rather than seeing obedience flowing out of our love we assume that any love has to be earned through our behaviour. That's the wrong way round and one that will stifle life rather than free us to live in love.
As we live in love we will be empowered to seek and to desire to do the Father's will.
© COPYRIGHT 2021:
Mark Gyde - A Father to YOU