Weekly Devotional - Dec 28, 2016
“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)
Scripture Reading – James 2:14-26
On the night of His arrest, Jesus taught His disciples the truth about God. He explained how the Father, Son, and Spirit work together to bring salvation to the world. The plan of God revealed the mystery of how the holy God was going to solve the problem of sin, so that unholy people could be accepted in His presence. The Father, Son, and Spirit revealed to us the depth of God’s love. It must have been difficult for the disciples to grasp that Jesus is one with the Father. We can also struggle to understand this. However when we do grasp the relationship of the Father and the Son, it transforms us. Knowing the truth about the Son compels us to take new and bold action.
Since the Son is one with the Father, then the Son must be obeyed just as the Father is to be obeyed. God established the Jewish nation as a testimony to the true God, Yahweh. They were to live in obedience to His commands. The first command was not to worship any other gods. God gathered the Jews at Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal to recite the Law and pronounce curses on themselves if they were to disobey (Joshua 8:30-35). The Jews knew that obedience to God was required for His people, so that they would live long in the land that He was going to give them, thereby becoming a testimony to the nations. Unfortunately, the Jews failed to keep the commandments. Instead of loving God, they bowed down before idols, which means they loved other things more than God. Finally, God exiled them from the Promised Land that He had given to them.
Now, Jesus is reminding us of that commitment. The New Covenant established through Jesus’ death, and reaffirmed in the Lord’s Supper, means that just as the Jews obeyed Yahweh, so too we who are in Christ need to obey Him. He is God and His commands should be of utmost importance to us. But having the commands of Christ is not enough. His followers must demonstrate their love for Christ by obeying them. A follower of Christ doesn’t just confess with his mouth that Jesus is Lord, but he also demonstrates that confession by obeying Christ. We cannot proclaim that He is Lord without submitting to His Lordship over our lives.
Jesus tells us that He speaks the Father’s words, does the works of the Father, and reveals the Father. Jesus’ words are authoritative. As the people of Israel were commanded to be holy because God was holy, so too we are to be holy by obeying Jesus’ words. After His resurrection, Jesus commanded us to give testimony of His Resurrection. We demonstrate our love for Christ when we tell others about the glory of the Son. As we do that, the Father reveals the Son to us. And, God uses our testimonies to bring others to faith, which gives us greater insight into the incredible work of Christ in redemption.
Many times we are disappointed with ourselves for our lack of obedience. We follow the passions of our hearts and sin. But I have never met a Christian who regretted obeying Christ. When we obey and testify about Him to the world, we live in fellowship with Christ and grow in our love for Him. Do you regret not obeying God’s commandments?