By Clarence L. Haynes Jr., Crosswalk.com
The One Test That Proves You Love Jesus
By Clarence L. Haynes Jr.
“If you love me, keep my commands.” - John 14:15
We live in a world where people use the word love loosely. We say things like I love food, sports, or other inanimate objects. Yet, in expressing love, you will also hear people tell you how much they love Jesus. 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 Gospel, Jesus gives us one, 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
On three separate occasions, Jesus identifies the one piece of evidence that proves you really love God. That is your obedience. It is impossible to say you love God if you are going to blatantly and continually do the things that break his heart. It would be like me declaring to the world how much I love my wife, but I do something I know will be offensive to her every chance I get. That may be a lot of things, but that is not love.
3 Ways Your Obedience Connects to Your Love of Jesus:
1. Your obedience acknowledges you agree with his position.
When you choose to obey God, and yes, obedience is a choice, you tell God he is right and agree with his position. The agreement does not mean you immediately like his position, but you agree that his position is correct. For example, someone may hurt you, and you choose to forgive them. Now you may not want to forgive them, and it may be difficult to forgive them, but you do it because God commands you to, and you know it is the right thing to do. Even though it hurts, you do it because you agree with God’s position.
2 . Your obedience tells Jesus he is welcome.
Obedience is a welcomer. It tells Jesus you are welcome in my life to do what you want. When you choose to disobey, you are telling Jesus I don’t want your ways, and in this area of my life, I don’t want you, and I don’t want you interfering. I know those seem like harsh words, but when you reject his commands, that is what you are doing. Disobedience, which is sin, says you trust or desire something more than you desire God or your relationship with him. When you put it in that language, it stings a bit more. Your obedience or disobedience will determine which one you really want, sin or the things of God; your choice will show where your love resides.
3. Your obedience is about your actions, not just your words.
When Jesus made these statements in John, 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 to make the choices, sometimes difficult ones, which show that you love him. However, it is in these places that your obedience becomes evidence of your love because you will do the hard things, even when you may not want to. Not because you are motivated by fear of retaliation but because you are motivated by a love that desires to please God.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
I want to leave you with a simple challenge today. Think of your life and see if there are any areas where you are 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 Jesus, which drives you to walk in obedience. After all, if you love him, you will do what he says. Hearing God’s Word, receiving God’s Word, and even believing God’s Word means nothing if you don’t obey God’s Word.
- What is free will and how does it relate to our salvation?
- What Christians need to understand about the spirit of the law vs the letter of the law
- 4 Important truths about obedience
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Jantanee Rungpranomkorn
Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club. He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. His most recent book is The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. Clarence is also committed to helping 10,000 people learn how to study the Bible and has just released his first Bible study course called Bible Study Basics. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com.