LOVE AND OBEDIENCE!
These are the hallmarks of the believer – according to Jesus. In the last precious hours with His disciples, He appealed to their love for Him as the reason for their obedience. What did He mean? Was He simply setting up a new set of rules in place of the old ones, the ones His people failed to obey anyway? I don’t think so.
Firstly, let’s scrutinize the life of Jesus since He is the pattern God set for us to follow. It was the love relationship between Himself and His Father that controlled His life. Every temptation He went through was a test of His willingness to trust His Father’s love. How did this work out in practice? Jesus valued the Father’s love for Him so much that He refused to say or do anything that would betray that love. He trusted what God said and He honoured and valued what was important to God. He managed His life in such a way that He brought delight, not heartache to His Father.
Wow! If you think about it, it makes a whole lot of sense. What would happen if we took His example and His plea seriously? What if you and I valued our relationship with Jesus so much that we would treasure what is important to Him and manage our lives, our decisions and choices in such a way that we do not break His heart? This would mean that we would value relationships on every level more than our own selfish wants. We would treasure and care for people and not things. We would use words to heal, not to hurt and kill.
What if we taught our children this kind of “obedience”? It is easy to punish them if they break the rules. But what if we taught them to value our relationship with each other so much that they would not want to break our hearts? So much of our relationship with our children deteriorates into a power struggle. We cannot control our children’s behaviour. We demand, they rebel. We punish, they rebel even more. What if, instead, they learn that, whatever they might do, we will love them? What if love becomes the standard in our homes and whatever they or we may do, we protect that love?
The standard is before us, Jesus is in us. The only thing that stands between us and making it happen is the choice we make. God’s grace is in plentiful supply to help us do what we choose to do. This Is God’s heart. Will you choose to value Him so much that you will do what He desires so that you will be a delight to Him and not a heartache.
Have you read my new book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (copyright 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!