To Love is to Obey

'If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 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 14:15-21

Throughout the gospels, there are commandments that Jesus lays out for His followers that are at a higher standard. For example, things concerning murder, adultery, lust (found in Matthew 5) or the command to love our enemies, to love one another, as Jesus has loved us, to pick up our cross, to deny ourselves and follow Him daily. But Jesus states the greatest of them all is to ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ (Matthew 22:37).

If you are anything like me, when you read through some of these passages in the gospels, it’s easy to think 'wow, that’s very hard to follow.’ Or, 'how is this even possible?’

In John 14:15-21, Jesus starts and end the passage by linking love and obedience. We can often talk about loving God (and we might genuinely love Him in our heart) but loving God includes obeying Him too. Loving God and obeying God go hand in hand.

One cannot exist without the other! Our faithfulness to Jesus is marked by our obedience to His commands.

The beauty about Jesus’ command and invitation to love and obey Him is that we don’t have to do it all on our own. Jesus promises a Helper to be with us, in verses 16-17 Jesus says: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever - the Spirit of truth.”
The promised Holy Spirit is with us and present in our everyday life! If we are believers of Christ, the Holy Spirt is with us and in us to empower us and enable us to live a life that brings honour to the Father by loving Him and keeping His commands.

You and I are not alone as we follow Jesus on this earth. In the person of the Holy Spirit, Jesus stands with us and is known to us in ways the world cannot see or know Him. We can know Him, and because we see Him and know Him personally, intimately, we can show Him to the community around us.

Jesus ends this passage by reminding us that whoever keeps His commands is the one who loves Him, and He affirms us in that whoever loves Him will be loved by the Father.

This passage in John 14 is a great reminder of the fact that loving God and obeying him are two sides of the same coin.

Maybe today take a few minutes to pause and reflect on these words of Jesus “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15). In what ways can we keep His commands today? In what ways can we love one another, as Jesus has loved us? (John 13:34), because the truth is, to love Jesus is to obey Him.

- Desarie Annadurai  

Inward prayer: Lord, help me to love you by obeying you.

Outward prayer: Lord, help me to stay faithful to you by obeying you and may my community see you.

1 Comment

Tomi - September 17th, 2021 at 2:32am

Hallelujah,to love Jesus is to obey him….selah

Help me recognise and receive your help,Holy Spirit…help me to develop closer intimacy with you Spirit of Truth!