OBEDIENCE: IS THIS LOVE?
REMEMBER AS WE BEGIN. EVEN THOUGH YOU MAY NOT SEE IT, GOD IS HERE. HE IS WORKING. HE IS TOUCHING HEARTS. EVEN THOUGH YOU MAY NOT FEEL IT, GOD IS WORKING. HE NEVER STOPS WORKING! ISN’T THAT AWESOME! ISN’T THAT ENCOURAGING. HE PROMISES NEVER TO LEAVE US. HE IS HERE AND HE IS WORKING. WHATEVER YOU ARE GOING THROUGH, HE IS WITH YOU. WHATEVER IS PASSING THROUGH YOUR MIND AND HEART, GOD IS WITH YOU. HE DESIRES TO BE WITH YOU. HE DESIRES TO CONNECT WITH YOU. HE IS HERE! WHATEVER IS HAPPENING IN YOUR LIFE, GOD IS WITH YOU. JOHN 14:1 JESUS SAYS, “ LET NOT YOUR HEARTS BE TROUBLED.” HE SAYS IN THE SECOND PART OF JOHN 16:33 “IN THE WORLD YOU WILL HAVE TRIBULATION. BUT TAKE HEART I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD!” THAT IS ENCOURAGING. NO MATTER WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH, BE ENCOURAGED. THE CREATOR OF ALL LIFE IS WITH YOU! THE ONE WHO CREATED YOU IS WITH YOU. HE IS FOR YOU. HE LOVES YOU! PRAISE GOD!
WE CONTINUE OUR “DWELL” THEME TODAY. TODAY I WILL SHARE WHAT I DISCOVERED ABOUT THE RESULTS OF DWELLING UNTO THE LORD.
TODAY’S TEXT IS JOHN 14:15-24. 15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
THIS IS THE WORD OF THE LORD!
THE CONCEPT OF DWELL REMINDS THAT GOD CALLS US TO AS BELIEVERS TO BE IN RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM. TO REMAIN CLOSE. TO ABIDE. TO DWELL. THE SCRIPTURE WE WILL LOOK AT TODAY DEMONSTRATES A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON DWELL. WE WILL LOOK CLOSELY AT DWELL IN THE CONTEXT OF LOVE AND OBEDIENCE. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN OUR CREATOR AND US. OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR LORD JESUS AND US. OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. IT IS NOT ONE SIDED. IT IS MUTUAL. IT IS AWESOME!
WE KNOW THE BASIC MEANING OF DWELL?
TO RESIDE, TO STAY. TO REMAIN. TO ABIDE.
TODAY, I HOPE TO FOCUS ON A FEW KEY VERSES IN THE TEXT TODAY. HONESTLY, SEVERAL MESSAGES COULD COME FROM EACH.
THE TITLE OF THIS MESSAGE THAT THE LORD BROUGHT TO ME IS
“OBEDIENCE: IS THIS LOVE?”
LET’S LOOK AT THE CONTEXT A LITTLE BIT. JESUS IS IN THE UPPER ROOM WITH THE DISCIPLES. HE IS A MERE HOURS FROM BEING CAPTURED, BEATEN, AND CRUCIFIED. HE KNOWS WHAT IS ABOUT TO COME! HERE HE IS SHARING WISDOM WITH THE DISCIPLES DESPITE KNOWING THE FULL WRATH OF GOD MUST BE POURED OUT ON TO HIM. THAT IS THE BACKGROUND. HE JUST WASHED THE FEET OF HIS DISCIPLES IN JOHN CHAPTER13. HE PROCLAIMED IN THE FIRST HALF OF JOHN CHAPTER 14 VERSE 6 THAT HE IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. HE ALSO EXPLAINS THAT PETER WILL DENY HIM SOON. THE FOCUS OF THE TEXT IS THAT JESUS IS DETAILING THAT THE END OF HIS MINISTRY IS COMING, BUT THAT DESPITE HIS PHYSICALLY LEAVING, GOD WILL PROVIDE A HELPER FOR THE DISCIPLES, THE HOLY SPIRIT.
SO, WHAT’S THE TITLE OF THE MESSAGE MEAN YOU MAY ASK? OBEDIENCE: IS THIS LOVE?
LET’S BEGIN WITH A BRIEF SURVEY OF THE TEXT
V. 15- IF YOU LOVE ME YOU WILL KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS
JESUS IS MAKING A DECLARATION. A STATEMENT OF AUTHORITY, BUT ALSO OF LOVE. HE IS MAKING A CLEAR POINT THAT LOVE COMES FROM US IN THE FORM OF KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS. NOT SOME. ALL OF THEM. HERE’S IS THE ISSUE. WE CAN’T DO IT! IT IS NOT HUMANLY POSSIBLE TO KEEP ALL OF THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD. THIS IS WHY WE NEED JESUS. THAT TAKES US TO VERSE 16.
V.16 – AND I WILL ASK THE FATHER AND HE WILL GIVE YOU ANOTHER HELPER TO BE WITH YOU FOREVER.
THIS IS THE HOLY SPIRIT. OUR GRACIOUS GOD IS GOING TO PROVIDE A HELPER, AN ADVOCATE, A COUNSELOR, A GUIDE, A POWERFUL FORCE. THIS IS HOW WE CAN KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS JESUS IS REFERRING TO. PRAISE GOD FOR THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!
V. 17 EVEN THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH WHOM THE WORLD CANNOT RECEIVE BECAUSE IT NEITHER SEES HIM NOR KNOWS HIM. YOU CAN KNOW HIM FOR HE DWELLS WITH YOU AND WILL BE IN YOU. V. 18 I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU AS ORPHANS. I WILL COME TO YOU.
THINK OF ALL THE GIFTS YOU CAN POSSIBLY HAVE OR HAVE RECEIVED IN YOUR LIFE. NOW THINK ABOUT THIS. THE SAME POWER IN OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS IN YOU. THE SAME SPIRIT THAT IS THE GOD OF ALL CREATION IN YOU. WHEN WE SEEK HIM WILLINGLY, INTENTIONALLY, GOD DWELLS IN US. HE IS MAKING A HOME IN US. AMAZING! AGAIN WE HAVE ACCESS TO WISDOM, GUIDANCE, FAITH, AND OTHER CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD. THE LORD IS GRACIOUS AND COMPASSIONATE. HE WILL NOT LEAVE US NOR FORSAKE US. DEUTERONOMY 31:6. GOD IS FAITHFUL!
V. 19 YET IN A LITTLE WHILE AND THE WORLD WILL SEE ME NO MORE BUT YOU WILL SEE ME. BECAUSE I LIVE, YOU ALSO WILL LIVE. V. 20 IN THAT DAY YOU WILL KNOW THAT I AM IN MY FATHER AND YOU IN ME AND I IN YOU.
THIS IS THE EASTER STORY IS IT NOT? HE IS ALIVE! THE DISCIPLES JUST DO NOT KNOW IT YET. HOW BLESSED ARE WE THAT WE KNOW HOW THE STORY ENDS. HE IS RISEN! HE IS ALIVE! TOGETHER FOREVER. JESUS POINTS TO THE RESURRECTION.
V. 21 WHOEVER HAS MY COMMANDMENTS AND KEEPS THEM, HE IT IS WHO LOVES ME. AND HE WHO LOVES ME WILL BE LOVED BY MY FATHER AND I WILL LOVE HIM AND MANIFEST MYSELF TO HIM.
THIS IS JESUS’ LOVE LANGUAGE. THIS IS WHERE JESUS PROMISES TO REVEAL HIMSELF TO HIM. NOT THE MAN BUT GOD!
SEE LUKE 5:4-10
V. 22 JUDAS NOT ISCARIOT) SAID TO HIM, “LORD HOW IS IT HAT YOU WILL MANIFEST YOURSELF TO US AND NOT TO THE WORLD?
V. 23 JESUS ANSWERED HIM, “ IF ANYONE LOVES ME, HE WILL KEEP MY WORD AND MY FATHER WILL LOVE HIM AND WE WILL COME TO HIM AND MAKE OUR HOME WITH HIM.
WE OFTEN ARE PUTTING EXPECTATIONS IN LIFE. PASS/FAIL. SUCCESS IS BASED UPON _______ FILL IN THE BLANK. MONEY, FAME, PRESTIGE. DO WE EVER REALLY MEET THOSE EXPECTATIONS? MAYBE SOME TIMES. OUR STANDARDS IN THOSE SCENARIOS ARE WORLDY. THE BEAUTY IS THAT GOD’S EXPECTATIONS ARE SIMPLE. FOLLOW AND OBEY. THIS IS LOVE TO GOD!
V. 24 WHOEVER DOES NOT LOVE ME DOES NOT KEEP MY WORDS. AND THE WORD THAT YOU HEAR IS NOT MINE BUT THE FATHER’S WHO SENT ME.
POWERFUL STATEMENT. THIS IS A FULL ENDORSEMENT FROM THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE. THE OMNIPOTENT, OMNISCIENT, OMNIPRESENT GOD.
WHAT IS LOVE? THERE ARE 4 TYPES OF LOVE.
1. STORGE: FAMILIAL LOVE; EXAMPLES ARE JAIRUS, THE COMMANDER WHO COMES TO JESUS TO SAVE HIS DAUGHTER IN LUKE 8:40-56; ALSO MARY AND MARTHA’S LOVE FOR THEIR BROTHER LAZARUS WHO SEEMS TO HAVE DIED IN JOHN 11:1-44. THE ABSENCE OF THIS TYPE OF LOVE CAN BE SEEN IN GENESIS WITH CAIN AND HIS BROTHER ABEL AS WELL AS JOSEPH’S BROTHER’S WHO SELL HIM IN TO SLAVERY.
2. PHILEO – CLOSE FRIENDSHIP. ESSENTIALLY STORGE WITH NON-FAMILY MEMBERS. WHEN JESUS WEPT AT THE SIGHT OF LAZARUS’ SISTERS CRYING, IT IS PHILEO. BROTHERLY LOVE LIKE THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA.
3. EROS-ROMANTIC LOVE
4. AGAPE -THE HIGHEST FORM OF LOVE. IT IS THE EVERLASTING, SACRIFICIAL LOVE; GIVEN WHETHER RETURNED OR NOT. SEE 1 JOHN 4:8– ANYONE WHO DOES NOT LOVE DOES NOT KNOW GOD, BECAUSE GOD IS LOVE
IT IS PERFECT LOVE.
SEE 1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-8– Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
SEE JOHN 3:16-17 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
THAT IS AGAPE LOVE. JESUS RETURNS THE LOVE BY WILLINGLY GIVING OF HIMSELF TO SUFFER FOR HUMANITY. REMEMBER WHEN WE RETURN THE TEXT TODAY. JESUS KNEW WHAT WAS ABOUT TO HAPPEN. THE SUFFERING THAT HAD TO HAPPEN.
HOW CAN WE NOT BE MOVED BY THAT KIND OF LOVE?
CAN WE EVEN UNDERSTAND IT?
BACK TO VERSE 21. WHOEVER HAS MY COMMANDMENTS ND KEEPS THEM, HE IT IS WHO LOVES ME. AND HE WHO LOVES ME WILL BE LOVED BY MY FATHER AND I WILL LOVE HIM AND MANIFEST MYSELF TO HIM.
THIS IS JESUS LOVE LANGUAGE.
SEE LUKE 5:4-10. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”
PETER FIRST HESITATED, BUT HE EVENTUALLY HE OBEYED. NOT FOR THE SAKE OF OBEDIENCE. IT WAS TO HONOR JESUS. IT IS AT THIS MOMENT WHERE JESUS FEELS LOVED. PETER WAS SPEAKING JESUS’ LOVE LANGUAGE. IT MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE. THEN JESUS REVEALED HIMSELF TO PETER AND HE CRUMBLED. NOT BECAUSE OF THE FISH. JESUS REVEALED HIMSELF TO PETER IN A PROFOUND WAY. IN A WAY THAT OPEN HIS EYES.
JESUS CLEARLY STATES IN VERSE 21 THAT OBEDIENCE IS LOVE. THE RESULT IS UNITY WITH GOD THE FATHER, HIS SON, JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT SEE V.16.
IMAGINE WHAT THAT WOULD BE LIKE. ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT DAY WHEN YOU WILL MEET JESUS FACE TO FACE?
HOW DO WE SHOW THAT LOVE BACK TO GOD? OBEDIENCE IN FOLLOWING AND HONORING HIS WORD.
TO ANSWER THE QUESTION: OBEDIENCE: IS THIS LOVE? UNEQUIVOCALLY, YES!
IT IS NOT ABOUT SOME DREADFUL OBLIGATION OR AVOIDING CONSEQUENCES OR LOYALTY OR MORAL BASIS. IT IS BECAUSE HE IS OUR LORD. IT IS BECAUSE HE IS WORTHY. IT IS BECAUSE IT IS A FORM OF WORSHIP. IT IS BECAUSE HE GAVE EVERYTHING FOR US. IT IS BECAUSE WE GENUINELY DESIRE BEING CLOSER TO OUR GOD. IT IS BECAUSE IT IS A JOY TO SERVE OUR KING. IT IS BECAUSE WE NEED TO GROW. IT IS BECAUSE HE IS PREPARING US FOR SOMETHING GREATER THAN WE CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE.
SOME QUESTIONS TO PRAY ON:
IS IT WORTH IT? YES! AS BELIEVERS, IT IS NOT OPTIONAL.
DO WE LOVE HIM ENOUGH TO OBEY HIM?
WILL IT BE OUT OF RELUCTANCE OR TRUE WORSHIP?
JESUS BELIEVED IT WAS IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO EXPLAIN TO HIS DISCIPLES HOURS BEFORE HE WAS CRUCIFIED. I’D SAY THAT IS IMPORTANT. YES, HE LOVED THEM ENOUGH TO EXPLAIN IT. SOME OF HIS LAST WORDS.
LORD GOD, PLEASE MOVE IN OUR RELUCTANT HEARTS. HOLY SPIRIT WASH OVER US THAT WE MIGHT LOVE JESUS IN THE LANGUAGE THAT HE FEELS MOST LOVE WHICH IN TURN UNITES US WITH OUR CREATOR.