Obedient and Loving

John 14:15
If you love me, keep my commands.

As a mother, I’ve given commands. I love it when my children do what I tell them to do. And I’ve learned to be patient when they groan. I know they don’t want to do chores. Who does? But I’m teaching them successful ways of doing important things. They’ll need to have these skills when they are out on their own.

When they realize that I’m giving them these chores because I love them, they obey with less groaning. It’s my job to make sure they see my loving attitude. I take them for treats or play their games with them. I laugh with them, sharing their joys and their triumphs. And they come to me for comfort when they’re hurt or scared.

I know that God gave me children to raise because he wanted me to see His love for me. I can see myself in my children. I can see how they trust me to help them and advise them. They do things they way I do things because they’ve been watching me.

If we can set our eyes on God and watch Him, we can begin doing things His way. We can see how Jesus treated those in need, and then we can be generous and caring just like Him. Our determination to seek God and develop a relationship with Him will help us keep His commands with less groaning.

We can see our faith rise up as we continue to obey God. We can see our love for God getting more intense as we set aside our ways and begin following His ways. God is always by us, helping us. He wants to encourage our steps and strengthen us when we fall.

Keeping God’s commands is something we have to train ourselves to do. Loving God is easy if we allow ourselves time to get to know Him.

So keep seeking God with me.

Obedient and Submitted

John 14:14
You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

This is taken out of context most of the time. People want God to be their errand boy. We pray for God to bring us paychecks while we sit on the couch and watch soap operas. Then we blame God for our poverty because we prayed and he didn’t come through for us.

We do stupid things and then ask God to get us out of trouble. Often we use the phrase, “And I’ll even start going to church from now on if you do this for me.” Bargaining with God is not what Jesus had in mind when he said we could ask him for anything.

He was speaking to his disciples when he said they could ask him for anything. He knew they were imperfect. He knew they’d made plenty of mistakes and were sure to make more. But he also knew where their hearts were. They had been following him, learning from him, obeying him. They were sacrificing their way of doing things for his way of doing things. These men had a relationship with Jesus. That was the basis of his claim that they could ask him for anything.

So, can we, like his disciples, ask him for anything?

Sure. As long as we have a relationship with Jesus, learn from Jesus, obey his commands, and sacrifice our ways of doing things for his ways of doing things. Then certainly, ask away.

Obedient and Faith-filled

John 14:12
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

This is very hard to understand from an earthly viewpoint. If you believe Jesus lived on Earth as the Son of God and did miracles given him to do by the Father in Heaven, it is hard to imagine regular people like you and me doing what Jesus did. Then Jesus said we’ll do greater things. We can’t even digest the concept of doing miracles. What “greater things”?

Just for a moment, let’s imagine Jesus wore today’s man-sandals and walked in the dust of Earth with us. We’re not really that different than his disciples from thousands of years ago. We have as many flaws and as much faith.

A big difference is that we don’t have Jesus in our faces telling us to follow him. We’re supposed to be hearing that from God as we read the Bible or while in church or with our kids at a picnic or …whatever. So let’s say that we had Jesus in our faces telling us to do things in today’s world.

If he told you to put the boat out in the water and start fishing, would you? If he told you to take a basket of tunafish sandwiches and feed thousands, would you? If he told you to pray for the healing of a woman who has been lame for years, would you?

Some of us would, but others still can’t imagine themselves obeying God in those kinds of commands. It isn’t such a big deal to obey the command to love the children God gave you. That’s pretty easy for most parents. But God isn’t a pick-and-choose God. He accepted us, and we should accept him. All of him.

When you accept God, you really should consider what you’re doing.

Some women can see God as the Prince Charming to our Cinderella. He finds us in our rags and loves us anyway. He chooses us even with our messy hair in our sooty faces because we’re his. All we have to do is allow him to give us new royal clothes and follow him in his royal ways.

But if God says to go to your step-mother and invite her to live in the suite next door at the castle because he wants to do a miracle in her heart, many of us would want to voice an opinion about that. How many times has God heard us say, “But God, you don’t understand. That’s just crazy. Her?”

And we wonder why we’re not doing miracles like Jesus did.

If we want to prove ourselves worthy of the words in John 14:12, we’ll have to obey God in the small things, in the big things, and in the crazy gotta-have-faith kinds of things. The key is our obedience.

And yes, God does miracles through his people every day. You can be one of them.

Obedient and Humble

John 14:10
Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.

Jesus was never arrogant. However, we often fall into the arrogance trap. It’s easy. As children, when a parent helps us do something we could never have done on our own, we say, “I did it!” If a child pulls a piece of fruit from a tall tree limb because he was sitting on the shoulders of his dad, everyone knows that child didn’t do it on his own, but we congratulate the child on his accomplishment.

Jesus didn’t brag about his position with his Father, but he didn’t ignore his position either. A good phrase for us to learn is “with God’s help.” If we’re wise, we’ll realize that acknowledging God works to our benefit. It keeps us more humble, less arrogant.

Jesus acknowledged his Father often. If God told us to go pray for healing for someone, our obedience is God’s plan for that person’s healing. Our obedience to God’s command makes us participants in a miracle. But we can’t claim to be a Miracle Worker. Our job is only obedience to God. His job is to perform the miracle.

The closer we let God in, the farther away arrogance will be pushed.