Jesus’ answer is obedient love. He says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments,” (John 14:15) and that love is seen in action. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34)
Which came first love or obedience? Ask Jesus. He’s been doing both forever!
Is it that chicken and egg deal? Okay, which came first?
He would answer, “Both! Let it go! Just love and obey and obey and love!”
Jesus describes obedience as hearing and believing. He explains, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)
Receiving and believing in Jesus brings a new life of love. John writes of Jesus, “To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:11–13)
Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20) If you are an “anyone” you can invite Jesus into your life. Then love begins in your heart as you personally and spiritually sit at table and “eat” with Jesus.
My mother called John 3:16 God’s telephone number, that “anyone” can dial. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) By faith, substitute your name for the word “whoever” the gift of eternal life is yours and love begins.
Some, who were interested in Jesus’ ways, asked him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”” (John 6:28–29) While we often think in terms of doing something, Jesus wants us to first believe something.
Belief leads the way in obedient love. The man asked, “What must I do to be saved?” The command comes, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved….” (Acts 16:31)
This kind obedient belief promises, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God.” This promise begins a new obedience of love, “and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.” (1 John 5:1–2)
Love and obedience are tied together. Jesus put it this way, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34)
John explains it this way, “If anyone obeys God’s word, love for God is truly made complete in them.” (1 John 2:5)
“So, how do I know that I love God?” The answer seems to be, obey Jesus’ call to believe. Then God’s love will be “made complete” in you. God will see to it.
“We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
“Giv’m heaven!”—John Parker
John Parker serves with Connections Simple Church of Chowchilla meeting 10 AM Sundays at Carty Center, 609 W. Robertson Blvd. Learn more at: www.simplechurchsuccess.com or contact John at (209) 564-7201