Lesson 12 -- second quarter 1999
May 23, 1999
© Copyright 1999, Christian Light Publications
I wonder how I would have felt when Jesus said, "If a man love me, he will keep my words." Maybe a little puzzled and much stunned by the high standard. To so closely intertwine love and obedience just plain goes against the human mind. We want to somehow "feel" like we love someone, and have the object of that love be satisfied with our feelings. Obedience strikes us as just too tangible...and unemotional. We would prefer our love and our obedience served up on different platters, if you will.
Then Jesus says, "He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings." So now I might find myself getting uncomfortable, wondering if He means if I don't obey Him, I don't love Him either. I would rather have the option of proclaiming I love Him while showing I am my own man.
As I think about it more, though, perhaps I begin to conclude if that is what the Master wants, I will do my best to obey Him...because I love Him. The Lord has so often shown Himself kind, merciful and helpful. Just as one man asked him to help him believe, I will ask Him to help me obey. And He will put His hand on my shoulder, and help me along. Whenever I am tempted to do my own will, I will be able to see Him and remember Who governs in my life. Yes, with Jesus near, I believe I can both love and obey!
But wait a minute here. What did He just say? "These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you." Time out! I was counting on the Master's presence to help me with this loving obedience hurdle. Now He is talking again about not being around much longer. I begin to get desperate about my prospects as a faithful disciple. Especially when I consider that I will no longer have Jesus near to help me remember and understand so that I might obey.
Through my desperation comes the realization that the Lord has not finished speaking yet. I hear Him say, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Comfort, that is precisely what I need right now, alright. This Being the Father will send will come in the name of my Master! He will have the power of my Master! And He will teach me and remind me.
Jesus continues! "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." He is definitely right! His words have taken me through perplexity, amazement and desperation into peace. What He says I must do, He will help me do. He has thought all this through ahead of time. He has already made the plans and the provisions for my success.
Now I know I want to obey Him. I want to please Him. Always and every way. I mean, wouldn't you?!
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