Love-based Obedience - First15 - October 6, 2016
1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” The greatest of all aspects of the Christian life is love. Love is to be at the foundation of all we do, all we are, and all we hold on to. If we focus on love and allow the Holy Spirit to strip everything else away, what will be left is a life of blessed simplicity rooted in face-to-face relationship with our heavenly Father. As we spend time this week looking at the simplicity of love, I pray that all the weighty, frivolous things of the world that rob you of an abundant life fall away in light of the glorious goodness of God’s unconditional and wholly available love for you.
Scripture:“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” >John 14:21
For much of my life I feared the thought of obedience, especially to the almighty, all-knowing, and all-powerful Creator of the universe. I couldn’t seem to find a way to consistently choose him over myself. I couldn’t seem to be able to live for his affections over those of the world. As hard as I would try in various seasons, I just couldn’t be obedient.
What I didn’t realize about God’s command to be obedient was the process by which I could grow in obedience. God will take our obedience however he can get it because he wants us to enjoy the incredible fruits of his perfect will, but his desire is always to love us to a place that our obedience would be a natural overflow of our love for him. He longs for us to live a lifestyle of love-based obedience.
John 14:15 says very simply, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Jesus’ words here are a promise. If we truly love him, we will keep his commandments. If we truly have love in our hearts, we can’t help but be obedient to him. I long to grow to the place where I am so in love with Jesus that I long to choose him in every situation. I long to be a servant so in love with my King that I would die for him or anyone else he asked me to.
The love of God is so real, so powerful, and so transformational that it can mold and shape us into people who no longer live for this temporal world but seek first an everlasting, invisible kingdom. If we will simply be people who let God love us in every moment, we will naturally be people who are obedient to God’s perfect will for us.
Romans 6:17-18 says, “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.” Through the powerful sacrifice of Jesus, you have been transformed into a person who has gained freedom from the law of sin. You are now enslaved to a lifestyle of right living whereby you obey your King out of devotion to him.
Take time in guided prayer today to receive the transformational love of your heavenly Father. Allow his love to lay a foundation on which you pursue wholehearted obedience. May you be filled with affection for your King today as you receive the wealth of unconditional love he has for you.
1. Open your heart to God to allow him to come in and love you. Ask him to guide you into a powerful encounter with his love today. Ask him to make you aware of his nearness and heart for you.
“And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” - Ephesians 3:19
2. Meditate on verses about obedience. Ask the Holy Spirit to transform you into a person who obeys God’s commands out of love for him.
“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” - John 14:21
“Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.’” - John 14:23
3. Commit yourself to obey God’s commands out of trust and affection for him. Choose to serve him and those he’s placed in your life. Ask him to fill you with a desire to do his will that your obedience wouldn’t take debate but rather be a seamless action flowing from the love he’s placed within you.
“But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.” - Deuteronomy 30:14
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” - Ephesians 5:1-2
Imagine how blessed our lives would be if we lived in total obedience to the will of God. Imagine the impact we would leave on this world. Imagine the wealth of heavenly reward we would have for all eternity. How wonderful is the heart of our heavenly Father that he would love us into a place of obedience to him, and then reward us and others for it! Our obedience is solely based on accepting his grace, and yet he loves to bless us through it. Praise be to our loving heavenly Father for the incredible life he’s given us at such a great cost. May we love him in all we do.
Extended Reading: John 14-15
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