Summary: Our love for Christ is revealed by our willingness to obey His teachings
The Evidence of Our Love
April 6, 2014
On the whole, God's love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for Him. C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity
How do we reveal that we really love Jesus? What is it that we do to show that our love for Christ is real?
There are a number of things that people might list here.
* Attend church services regularly
* Serve in the church and participate in ministry
* Help people in need
* Read our Bible
* Pray daily
While all of these things are good, do they prove the depth of our devotion to Christ? There is one way that Jesus told His disciples that they show their love for Him. These words of Jesus still ring true today.
If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him. John 14:23
The Challenge of Loving Jesus
Jesus makes it clear there is one obvious way to prove our love for Him, we must obey His teaching. At first glance, this seems to be a simple statement. Our love is shown by our willingness to obey the teaching of Jesus. The question that automatically arises is which teaching do we need to obey? The word Jesus uses here for teaching implies the whole body of His teaching. Jesus expects us to obey all of His teaching. Obedience is the first sign of our love for Christ. If we do not obey Jesus and follow His teaching, we don’t really love Him.
The issue runs even deeper when we understand the full depth of the word obey. When Jesus tells the disciples to obey His teaching, it meant to keep the teaching in their hearts, to defend it, to care for it and to share it. The implications of this are massive. Understand what Jesus expects here: He wants us to hold His teaching in our hearts so it changes our lives; He wants us to defend His teaching and to share it with others. Obedience is more than just following the teaching of Jesus, it is allowing it to change your life. If you do not open your heart to the power of Christ’s Word, you cannot possibly ever love Him.
We need to live our lives according to Christ’s teaching. The manner we live out those teachings of Jesus determines the level of our love for Him and our level of commitment.
The first thing that happens when we begin to follow Jesus is a demand for change. We cannot believe that we can have an encounter with Jesus and remain the same. The process of discipleship is one of continual change. There cannot be a deeper relationship with Christ, without personal changes. One of the problems that many Christians seem to have is that they desire a deeper walk with Christ but are unwilling to change.
Love requires commitment. There cannot be a genuine love for Jesus without a personal commitment.
Character is who you are when no one is looking – Bill Hybels
a. Loving other people
If you hold grudges against people and are unwilling to let go of bitterness, you cannot fully love Jesus.
Becoming more like Jesus means that more and more of our self and selfishness is surrendered to the power of Christ. The only way that we can be filled more with the presence of God is to empty ourselves of self.