How many of us would say that we love Jesus? Probably a good majority. I know I would. Well, according to John 14:24, if we love Jesus we’ll obey him. So, let’s check…
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’” Matthew 5:21
No murdering here. Obedient ✔️
“But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment…. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” Matthew 5:22
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’” Matthew 5:38
YES! Let’s get ’em, Jesus!
But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. Matthew 5:39
Wait. What? Is this guy for real?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’” Matthew 5:43
That I can most definitely do ✔️
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you!” Matthew 5:44
Ok. That’s enough.
Listen, I don’t know if Jesus is being for real here or if he’s just trying to get us to understand how wicked we truly are, but when I read Matthew 5-7 (a section of Scripture everyone should read) I get uneasy.
“God, I honestly don’t know if I can do what you’re calling me to do.” Even after 15 years of being a Christian I still struggle with loving my enemies.
Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. John 14:24
I think for some of us we need to come to terms with the fact that we don’t actually WANT to be obedient to Jesus. We like the parts of the Bible that line up with what we already believe. We like the parts that make us feel all warm and fuzzy, and we conveniently glance over sections that hit us hard.
I don’t know your heart, but I know mine. At one point in my life I would have glanced over a LOT of the Bible. That was when I didn’t love Jesus. I didn’t love him, so I didn’t obey him.
Then my life changed. I really came to love Jesus, and he became my Lord.
I remember the first time I read something in the Bible that I didn’t like. It had to do with my personality and how it was negatively affecting my relationship with my husband. God was exposing some dark parts in my heart and quite frankly… it was offensive. But at that point, I knew I had to make a choice.
Do my own thing or obey jesus?
Hesitantly, I decided to obey Jesus. It was scary, and I remember praying, “Ok, God. I’m going to obey you. Don’t leave me hanging.” Truthfully, he could have left me hanging. He was not at all obligated to make my obedience work out for my good, but he did.
It made me love him more, and that made me interested in more obedience.
I wish I could say that it’s been up and to the right ever since, but it hasn’t. The Holy Spirit continues to convict me of the darkness that’s still in my heart. Sometimes we hash those things out quickly. Other times it takes a while.
However, at the end of my life, the last thing I want is to stand before God and try to justify my self righteousness. Or my disobedience. But it’s hard.
The Christian life is worth it, but it’s not always easy.
Basically what I’m trying to say is this… If we think we have it altogether, we don’t. Jesus reminds us of that in John 14:24. May we be a people that prioritize love and obedience to Jesus over all else. The world needs it. We need it. I need it…
Because obedience to Jesus is the better way,