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True Love Makes Obedience Easy

True Love Makes Obedience Easy

"If you love Me, keep My commandments.  ...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. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me."  John 14:15, 23, 24 (NKJV)

There is a line I like in the movie Forrest Gump that says, "Stupid is as stupid does," and what it basically means is an intelligent person who does stupid things is still stupid. In other words, you are what you do.  

Well, there is a lot of truth to this statement.  After all, we can know what to do in any given situation, and still not do it.  So what does this make us?  Well, I would say foolish at best, possibly stubborn or prideful, and yes, even stupid at times.  And yet each of us makes the choice to do what we know to be wrong, even when we know what is right.   The Apostle Paul wrote about this very thing as he found himself very frustrated with his own actions.

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Romans 7:18-19 (NKJV)

Chuck Swindoll gave a great illustration that I feel is very applicable to our obeying what we know to be right.  He said,

Imagine, if you will, that you work for a company whose president found it necessary to travel out of the country and spend an extended period of time abroad. So he says to you and the other trusted employees, "Look, I'm going to leave. And while I'm gone, I want you to pay close attention to the business. You manage things while I'm away. I will write you regularly. When I do, I will instruct you in what you should do from now until I return from this trip." Everyone agrees.

He leaves and stays gone for a couple of years. During that time he writes often, communicating his desires and concerns. Finally he returns. He walks up to the front door of the company and immediately discovers everything is in a mess--weeds flourishing in the flower beds, windows broken across the front of the building, the gal at the front desk dozing, loud music roaring from several offices, two or three people engaged in horseplay in the back room. Instead of making a profit, the business has suffered a great loss. Without hesitation he calls everyone together and with a frown asks, "What happened? Didn't you get my letters?"

You say, "Oh, yeah, sure. We got all your letters. We've even bound them in a book. And some of us have memorized them. In fact, we have 'letter study' every Sunday. You know, those were really great letters." I think the president would then ask, "But what did you do about my instructions?" And, no doubt the employees would respond, "Do? Well, nothing. But we read every one!"

In like manner, we can go to church on Sunday, or a midweek service and study God's Word -  we can memorize it, quote it, and even preach it to others - and yet, we can turn around and choose not to practice it and be obedient to it.  Now it is great for us to read God's Word so our minds can be renewed and our lives can be transformed (Rom. 12:1-2), but we must remember, obedience to God is better than sacrifice (1Samuel 15:22).

We need to remember, our obedience to God's Word comes with a blessing attached to it.

  • God has promised financial prosperity if we follow His commands (Duet. 28:1, 11).
  • God has promised long life for those who follow His commands (Duet. 4:40; 5:33, Prov. 10:27).
  • God has promised us good success if we read, study, and observe all that is written in His Word (Josh. 1:8).

Hey Christian, what it comes down to is our love for God. I want to encourage you to remember Who it is that is asking this of you, and what He has already done for you.  True love makes obedience easy.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures of John contained within this devotional with regard to our loving Jesus?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Do you love Jesus?  Are you willing to obey His Word?

APPLICATION: Seek to apply what you know to be right in each situation.  Seek the Lord for His strength and wisdom.
Father, Thank You for Your Love for me.  Thank You for Your Word and Your wisdom to know what is right.  Help me to know what is right in each situation I face, and give me the strength to obey Your Word.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...
Be blessed, Pastor Scott

Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p. 242.

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000