Loving Obedience

July 11, 2016

Loving Obedience

God wants his children to obey him, but even more than that, he wants them to love him. In John 14:15-16 we read that Jesus spoke the following words. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.” Obedience without love is grievous. We do it because we feel it is our obligation. That isn’t the way the Christian life was meant to be lived.

We need to put first things first. Salvation needs to come first. Some try to live the Christian life without being saved. They may have good reasons for doing so. It may be because they see the benefits that come to those who abide by godly moral standards. It may be because they enjoy being in the company of Christians and want to be accepted by them. Whatever the case may be, if the time comes that they see that there are some personal advantages to be gained by violating Christian moral standards, it will be hard to resist the temptation.

When we are saved we enter into a personal relationship with God. We become a child of his. We have made reconciliation with God by accepting the sacrifice Christ made for us when he died on the cross. Romans 5:8-10 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” If we are saved we will love God because of all he has done for us. I John 4:19 says, “We love him, because he first loved us.”

I John 5:2-3 tells us that it isn’t hard to keep God’s commandments when we love him. “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” Love transforms grievous obedience into loving obedience. Love is also what makes a marriage relationship what it ought to be. What is done for your spouse isn’t a burden if there is love. It needs to be mutual, love for one another.

Perhaps someone says, “I don’t love God. Therefore I have no obligation to keep his commandments.” He had best stop and think. We reap what we sow. Moral laws are for our good and the good of society. If we hurt others by the liberties we take, they will take revenge. The golden rule in Matthew 7:12, asks us to do for others what we want them to do for us. Since, in the final analysis, it is our duty to obey, it is much better that it be loving obedience. That means we do it because we want to; not because we have to.

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