Summary: Why do you obey Christ? Jesus says if you love Him you will obey Him? Is yours a "loving obedinece? Don’t answer too quickly! A look at our motives for obedience and what loving obedience to Christ and His commands really looks like.
· One of my all time favorite cookies is an oreo. Eating an oreo cookie is an art to be perfected. Some folks give little thought to the art of eating an oreo cookie; they just eat them. Others, however, take the time to study the oreo by perfecting the art of twisting the two cookies apart to get to the white icing inside; you know that you have mastered this process when you can open your oreo cookie and all the icing is on one half of the cookie and the other half is just chocolate cookie. I enjoy an my oreo by with milk, but not just a little dunk in the “moo-juice.” The oreo must be saturated with milk; it is a true art to be able to eat the oreo without having it break off into the milk (or your lap) before it is eaten.
The passage of scripture before us in John 14 is much like an oreo; we can’t just rush through it, rather we must take time to consider the parts. Verses 15 and 21-24 are like the chocolate cookie; Jesus’ focus here is on loving obedience. Verses 16-20 and 25-31 are like the creamy icing and milk; it is here that Jesus give His disciples and us the promise of His Holy Spirit to come alongside us as our helper. As we look at this today and next week keep in mind that the parts are connected to form a masterpiece; you can’t have one without the other.
Jesus says if we love Him we will obey Him. This morning we are going to take a close look at “What’s Your Motivation For Obedience?” Be careful–don’t answer that too fast!
+ John 14:15, 21-24 15“If you love me, you will obey what I command . . . 21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” 22Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” 23Jesus replied, “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. 24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” (NIV)
Jesus links obedience to His commands as a sign or proof of the genuine love of His followers. We find Jesus saying this four times within the space of ten verses (verses 15, 21, 23 and 24); do you think Jesus was trying to make a point?
Just as important as what Jesus said is what He did not say. Jesus didn’t say, “If you keep my commandments, then you love me.” You can’t turn a cause and effect statement around without changing it’s meaning. “If you keep my commandments, then you love me” means that love is produce by obedience or love flows out of obedience. Now how many of you know that just isn’t true?
· I’m much more careful to obey the 25m.p.h. speed limit near my house now. I got a speeding ticket for going 38m.p.h. on my way home about a month ago. The moment I saw the police car I knew I was busted. My obedience to the law has not caused me to “love” the police officer who gave me the ticket, nor do I “love” the village council that wrote the law. My obedience to the law has not even caused me to agree with the law. I saw nothing wrong with the speed I was driving then, and I still don’t think driving 38m.p.h. on a rural road with little or no other traffic is too fast. So why do I drive slower? I simply do it because getting home 60 seconds sooner is not worth a $75 to $100 ticket.
Jesus said, “if you love me, then you will obey my commandments.” In other words, love produces obedience, or obedience to Christ’s command is the result of genuine love. It is possible to obey Jesus words and not love Him, but it is impossible to love Him and not obey Him.
· All of us as parents know that our children will obey us for many different reasons. I know there have been times that my kids have obeyed to get something that they wanted; at other times they have obeyed because they were afraid of being punished, and believe it or not there have even been times that I have had to make them obey. Yet there is no better feeling that I have as a dad then when I know my kids obey me simply because they love me.