Command. Obey. Love.

Read John 14:15-24

“If you love me, obey my commandments. (John 14:15 NLT)

Command. Obey. Love. Do these words even go together?

Command. Maybe we are shaped by images of drill sergeants or football coaches barking out orders. There is certainly an expectation of obedience. You obey or there is significant consequence. But love isn’t gruff or bossy… love is patient, love is kind. Love doesn’t look like, “Do what I say, or else…”

“If you love me, obey my commandments.”

Obey. If I do what you command, will you love me then? I want to earn your approval by doing what you require of me. I want to succeed to make my father proud. But love… true love is not based on fulfilling requirements. True love is not based on accomplishments. Love keeps no record of wrong. Love is not love if it based on condition.

Command. Obey. Love. How do we reconcile these words?

“If you love me, obey my commandments.”

When we become confident in the love God has for us — love made real and tangible and in the flesh by Jesus — we become confident in who we are. We are children loved by our Father, not based on condition or behavior or accomplishment… just because we are his. When we know we are loved, it is only natural to express our love in return. We live and we love as we are loved.

What is the greatest command? To love the Lord in the same manner we are loved BY the Lord. The second? Love your neighbor… in the same manner we are loved BY the Lord. The command is to love. To acknowledge the the identity we find in knowing we are loved is to go and do the same.

Command. Obey. Love.

“If you love me, obey my commandments.”

Yes I will.

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