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February 25, 2022

"If you love me, keep my commandments"

By Fady Ghobrial

Editor’s note: The following devotional was written in conjunction with Christian Union Day and Night’s recent two-week fast: “National Obedience Brings National Revival.”

 

In Jesus’ final discourse, before His death and resurrection, he charged His disciples with these weighty and unforgettable words: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Jesus affirms His Lordship and clearly calls His disciples to faithful obedience to His commandments, precisely as evidence of their love for Him.

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One’s love for God is demonstrated in obedience to God’s commands. Our Christian confession and commitment can be discerned or judged accurately by this test of obedience.

John the apostle, who penned his namesake gospel, affirmed this same truth (1 John 2:3): "And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments." John tells us that we can have the assurance of salvation, in that we can know that we are in a personal relationship with God and that God has saved us by grace, by seeing that we are, in fact, keeping His commandments. John’s point in this passage is that knowing and loving God are inseparable from obedience to God’s word in our lives.

John gives us the counterfactual argument in the following verse when he writes: “Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” This posture stands in direct contrast to many today in American Christianity who would say things like: "Only God can judge me," "You don’t know my heart," "I prayed the prayer," and "Don’t be a legalist and focus on behavior."

When we receive God’s love in our hearts, it always leads to a change that begins in our hearts and affects our behavior. If we claim to be in Christ then let us also walk in the way Christ walked. Let us walk in the way of obedience and love because to know and love God is to obey him

In the spirit of the old adage that says “delayed obedience is disobedience,” I want to encourage you to take a moment in reflection and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you as you ask yourself: "Is there any delayed obedience in my life?" "What area in my life am I getting cold feet in following Jesus?" "What is the next right thing God is calling me to do?" "What command in God’s word am I not fully embracing and obeying in this season?"

Devotional prayer: Father, thank You for sending Jesus to die for my sin and in my place. Thank You that You have saved me by Your grace and mercy. Holy Spirit, fill me with the boldness and courage I need to do what is right, to walk in obedience, and to honor Your word by applying it to my life. Help me honor Christ in all my ways, words, thoughts, and actions. Let Your love be perfected in me as I seek You wholeheartedly and walk with You daily. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Fady Ghobrial is a ministry fellow with Christian Union Gloria at Harvard University.

RELATED: Want to go deeper in your faith? Click here to receive a free download of Christian Union’s "Seeking God Lifestyle” Bible Course Manual.