Charles Stanley (November-18-2020) Daily Devotion: A Life of Obedience
John 14:23-31 - 23 Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me. 25 These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. 28 You heard that I said to you, `I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe. 30 I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; 31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.
As Christians, we know we should obey the Lord, because the Bible is filled with commands to do so. But not all obedience is equal, as every parent can testify. Out of love, some children willingly do what they are told, whereas others comply while filled with anger and resentment.
Jesus pointed out the correct motivation when He said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word” (John 14:23). It’s our love for Christ that should fuel our obedience. In fact, the only reason we can love Him is because God first loved us (1 John 4:19 - We love, because He first loved us.). And here’s how much the Father cared about us, even before we had any interest in pleasing Him: He sent His Son to bear our sins and die in our place so that we could be forgiven. And when we receive Christ by faith, God pours His love into our heart through His Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5 - and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.).
God’s love for us and our resulting love for Christ compel us to obey Him in all things. Instead of trying harder to comply, perhaps we should ask God to give us more love for Christ—because the more we love Him, the better we can follow His voice.