John 14:15-24 The Message
The Spirit of Truth
15-17 “If you love me, show it by doing what I have told you. I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it does not have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!
18-20 “I will not leave you orphaned. I’m coming back. In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you’re going to see me because I am alive and you are about to come alive. At that moment you will know absolutely that I’m in my Father, and you’re in me, and I’m in you.
21 “The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me. And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him.”
22 Judas (not Iscariot) said, “Master, why is it that you are about to make yourself plain to us but not to the world?”
23-24 “Because a loveless world,” said Jesus, “is a sightless world. If anyone loves me, he will carefully keep my word and my Father will love him—we’ll move right into the neighborhood! Not loving me means not keeping my words. The message you are hearing isn’t mine. It’s the message of the Father who sent me.
The Word of God for the Children of God.
Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.
We live in a world where people use the word love loosely.
We say things like I love adrenalin, food, sports, or other inanimate objects.
Yet, in our “expressing love,” from all corners of the globe you will also hear people tell you how much they love Jesus from all corners and pews in church.
So my question is, how do you know you love God?
What measuring stick are you using to define what it means to really love Jesus?
In John’s narrative of the Gospel, Rabbi Jesus gives to his disciples and each of us, one “measuring stick”, which he reinforces three times in the same chapter.
- “If you love me, keep my commands.” – John 14:15
- “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” – John 14:21
- “Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” – John 14:23
Here in this short exchange, on three separate occasions, Jesus identifies the one piece of evidence that proves we genuinely really truly love God.
That is our obedience.
Jesus says to his disciples, gets square into their faces and conscience: it is impossible to say we love God if we are going to blatantly and continually keep doing the things that blatantly and continually break God’s everlasting heart.
It would be like me declaring to the world how much I love my wife, but I do something I know will be continually offensive unto at her every chance I get.
That may be a lot of things, but that is definitely not and cannot be allowed to be anyone’s definition or understanding or any day to day expression of love.
What Is Obedience?
According to Merriam-Webster, obedience’s definition is “the act or instance of obeying; the quality or state of being obedient.”
Furthermore, the definition of obedient is “submissive to the restraint or command of authority: willing to obey.”
Therefore, we say the meaning of Christian obedience is the act of submitting (obeying) to the commands (laws) of God, the highest authority, creator, and Father of mankind.
If we have faith in God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, believe Christianity is the truth, obedience is our practice of living by faith, obeying the teachings of the Bible.
Read some of the best scripture quotes about obedience in this collection of Bible verses and find three simple ways to practice obedience below.
The Word of God Speaks on Obedience
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” – John 14:15
“But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” – Acts 5:29
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance” – 1 Peter 1:14
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” – 1 John 5:3
“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;” – Isaiah 1:19
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” – Luke 6:46
“But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.” – Exodus 23:22
“I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me.” – Psalm 119:30
“34 I am giving you a new commandment, that you [a]love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.” – John 13:34-35
“21 The person who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him [I will make Myself real to him].” John 14:21
“But I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.” – John 14:31
Obedience is our way of revealing, showing God that we love Him; and it is through our obedience that God recognizes us and enables us to enjoy His Love.
This in turn will allow God to reveal himself to us, and activates God’s power to work in our lives.
How to Obey God: 3 Forms of Christian Obedience
The first two forms of Christian obedience given here come from Jesus’ teaching about the “greatest commandment of the law” in Matthew 22.
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 And Jesus replied to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ 40 The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.” (verses 36-40)
1. Love the Lord your God: Obedience can be to simply honor and praise God for your life and the blessings within.
While this may seem cliché and like overstating the obvious and easy, there are many distractions in the modern world (technology in particular) that can and do 100% sidetrack us from 1000% appreciating the glory of God in our daily life.
We must focus to obey the greatest commandment of Jesus and love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, and mind, giving thanks to Him continually.
2. Love your neighbor as yourself: Continuing with the teaching from Matthew 22, our next example of obedience is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
In order to love our neighbor, friends, and even family, we must forgive them for their trespasses against us.
As the Lord’s prayer says, “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
Matthew 6:14 tells us, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
Because humans are so completely imperfect, trespasses against us will occur, so it is vital to forgive in order to love our neighbor.
Obeying God means putting God’s commandments echelons above our own egoic desires to hold resentment towards others – forgive and let go of anger!
3. Prayer: The Word of God for His Children literally tells us to “pray without ceasing” in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
To live by faith means to live by prayer, going to God in humble supplication and genuine heartfelt repentance and complete expressions of thanksgiving.
If we feel we you are struggling with understanding or practicing obedience, pray to the Holy Spirit for empowerment, for guidance and for inspiration.
Moreover, our practicing the discipline of regular prayer itself is a form of obedience, as scripture says to humble ourselves in God’s sight and to pray.
How Our Obedience Connects Us to Our Love of God
3 Ways Our Obedience Connects to Your Love of God, Jesus, Holy Spirit:
1. Our obedience acknowledges we heartily agree with God’s position.
Psalm 46:8-10 The Message
8-10 Attention, all! See the marvels of God!
He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
Bans war from pole to pole,
breaks all the weapons across his knee.
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
loving look at me, your High God,
above politics, above everything.”
When you choose to give God your maximum attention, choose to obey God, and yes, obedience is definitely a choice, we tell God he is right and agree with his position – God alone is God and God alone is Exalted above all other things.
The agreement does not mean we automatically, immediately like his position, but absolutely agree that his position is absolutely, immutably, 100% correct.
For example, someone may hurt us, and we choose to obey God to forgive them.
Now we may not want to forgive them, and it may be difficult to forgive them, but we do it because God commands it, and we know it’s the right thing to do.
Even though it mightily hurts, we do it because we agree with God’s position.
2 . Your obedience tells Jesus he is welcome.
Psalm 5:11-12 The Message
11-12 But you’ll welcome us with open arms
when we run for cover to you.
Let the party last all night!
Stand guard over our celebration.
You are famous, God, for welcoming God-seekers,
for decking us out in delight.
Obedience is an unequivocal expression of “arms wide open” welcome.
It communicates to Jesus He is welcome in our lives to do what He wants.
When we choose to disobey, we are telling Jesus we don’t want His ways, and in this or any area of my life, “I don’t want you, and I don’t want you interfering.”
I know those seem like unnecessarily harsh words, but when we reject his commands, that is what you are doing and that is what we are saying to Him.
Disobedience, which is sin, says we exclusive trust or exclusively desire our own something more than we exclusively desire God or our relationship with Him.
When you put it in that “love language,” it stings our souls just a wee bit more.
Our obedience or disobedience will determine which one we really want more, loveless sin or the things of God; our choice will show where our love resides.
3. Our obedience is about our actions, not just about our words.
Psalm 119:1-8 The Message
119 1-8 You’re blessed when you stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You’re blessed when you follow his directions,
doing your best to find him.
That’s right—you don’t go off on your own;
you walk straight along the road he set.
You, God, prescribed the right way to live;
now you expect us to live it.
Oh, that my steps might be steady,
keeping to the course you set;
Then I’d never have any regrets
in comparing my life with your counsel.
I thank you for speaking straight from your heart;
I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.
I’m going to do what you tell me to do;
don’t ever walk off and leave me.
When Jesus made those statements in John 14:15-24, he was really saying this.
“Don’t tell me you love me, show me. It can be very easy to declare how much you love Jesus with your lips. Anyone can do that.”
It is far different for us to make the choices, sometimes difficult ones, to be obedient, which show that we unequivocally love him more than anything.
However, it is in these places that our obedience becomes the most convincing evidence of our love because we will always choose to do the hard “God” things, even when you may not want to.
Not because we are motivated by fear of humiliation, persecution, retaliation, but because we are unequivocally motivated by a love that desires to please God.
Serve at church and in the community.
Luke 2:36-38 The Message
36-38 Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was by now a very old woman. She had been married seven years and a widow for eighty-four. She never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fasting’s and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.
If we ourselves choose how to serve instead of obeying the Lord’s direction, our efforts are simply good works rather than an expression of love to Him.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
Psalm 139:23-24 The Message
23-24 Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.
I want to leave you with a simple challenge today.
Take some quality time to ponder and meditate upon your life, see if there are any areas where you are knowingly, unknowingly wrestling with disobedience.
It could be something you should be doing or need to stop doing.
Either way, let the motivation to change come from your love of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit which motivates you and drives you onward, to walk in obedience.
After all, if you love him, you will do what He says.
Joshua 24:15 The Message
15 “If you decide that it’s a bad thing to worship God, then choose a god you’d rather serve—and do it today. Choose one of the gods your ancestors worshiped from the country beyond The River, or one of the gods of the Amorites, on whose land you’re now living. As for me and my family, we’ll worship God.”
Our whole lives can be about “Hearing God’s Word, receiving God’s Word, and even believing God’s Word” but means nothing if we do not obey God’s Word.
God’s love for us was demonstrated through the sending of His Son Jesus (1 John 4:9-10).
Our compliance, our obedience to the Father’s known will reveals exactly how deeply we choose to care about Him – take steps each day to show God our love.
In the name of God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Psalm 65:1-8 The Message
65 1-2 Silence is praise to you,
And also obedience.
You hear the prayer in it all.
2-8 We all arrive at your doorstep sooner
or later, loaded with guilt,
Our sins too much for us—
but you get rid of them once and for all.
Blessed are the chosen! Blessed the guest
at home in your place!
We expect our fill of good things
in your house, your heavenly manse.
All your salvation wonders
are on display in your trophy room.
Muzzler of sea storm and wave crash,
of mobs in noisy riot—
Far and wide they’ll come to a stop,
they’ll stare in awe, in wonder.
Dawn and dusk take turns
calling, “Come and worship.”
Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.