In Touch Daily Devotional
by Dr. Charles Stanley
March 19, 2007 – How Obedience Relates to Love – John 14:21-24
The night before Jesus’ crucifixion, He reminded His disciples of the important connection between love and obedience. In John 14:21, Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me.” In God’s mind, loving and obeying Him are inseparable. We need to think the same way.
What commands are we called to obey? In the 22nd chapter of Matthew, Jesus said that the Law and the Prophets depend on two commandments: First, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Second, He commanded, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” When we consistently and thoughtfully study the New Testament, the Holy Spirit tells us how to live out these commands. Every time we follow the Spirit’s instructions, we are saying “I love You” to God. When we release a selfish attitude and place someone else first, when we show forgiveness instead of anger, or when we demonstrate a thankful heart in the midst of difficult circumstances, we ex press affection for the Lord. But if we live in conscious, deliberate disobedience to Him, Jesus says we don’t love Him.
Jesus’ life on Earth was one continuous expression of love for the heavenly Father (John 14:31). Following Christ’s example requires a heart that desires to please Him, an obedient will, and a mind that consistently seeks divine direction. Develop the habit of asking yourself two questions: First, What does obedience to God look like in this situation? And, second, What additional steps can I take to obey God more fully?
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