John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.”
Obedience is an act of love. We show our love for Jesus to the world by doing what Jesus commanded us to do. As a kid, I never thought when I did what my parents asked me to do that I was displaying love for them. I didn’t do it because I loved them. I did what they asked me to do because I didn’t want to get in trouble. I did what they said because they had authority over me. I obeyed because I wanted credit for doing the right thing. Too often I still act the same way with God.
I follow His commands because I am afraid of getting in trouble. I don’t want to break His rules. And sometimes I want others to look at me and see that I am doing the right thing. But Jesus turns all of that upside down by teaching us that our obedience to His commands is a demonstration of our love for Him. Then He takes it one step further because, “We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19. So in a sense, our obedience to Christ is actually a demonstration of His love for us. Because He loves me, I am free to love Him. Because I love Him, I do what He tells me to do.
And what did He just command His disciples to do? “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35. If you love me, love one another. If you love me, show your love by loving one another. If you love me, let your love be evident to all and they will see me in you. Shines a new light on obedience. It’s not a have to, it’s a get to!