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.
* By nature we are selfish and we desire to get what we want
* Selfishness flows through our unwillingness to serve for the right reasons
* Selfishness is the nature to control people and situations around us
The Promise of God’s love and presence
The promise that Jesus proclaims here is conditional. If we will follow the teaching of Jesus and show our love for Him, two things take place. First, the Father shows His love for us. Second, God makes His presence in our lives.
God reveals His love for us
Jesus is the ultimate revelation of the love of God. There is no better way than sending Jesus for God to show us the nature of His love. God lays His love on the line for us at the cross. As we approach Easter, there should be a deeper and deeper understanding of the measure of God’s love. Jesus is communicating the fact that God was about to show His love for humanity in a practical and powerful way. It is vital for us to remember that these words of Jesus take place after the Last Supper. As Jesus speaks to the disciples, they are walking to Gethsemane and the arrest of Jesus. Jesus is going at that very moment to prove the love of God and His love for the world.