Friday, February 20, 2015

If We Love Jesus

“Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.
My Father will love him and we will come to him
and make our home with him.’”
John 14:23 (NIV)

               Jesus speaks of obedience, He tells us it comes because of our love for Him. I find it interesting that He speaks of an outcome of our obedience—God loves us and they together will come to the one who carries out God’s Will and will live with him or her. What can we do to practice or better practice obedience to God?

                Do we listen to what He tells us? I had a relative who would call me and ask my advice about a circumstance in her life. She would tell me she had two or three options she could choose to follow. She always seemed to pick the option she already had decided on before she called. I felt she wasted her time and mine by doing this ritual.

               We can’t do that with God. When God tells us something, we can’t say, “I’m going to do what I want about this.” We asked Him; He guides us and we should follow His leading.

               Do we spend time with him in prayer? I have a friend who told me she had to get out of the habit of praying ‘hit and run’ prayers or ‘catch you later, God’ prayers. I love the thought I read several years ago, “If you’re too busy to pray, you are too busy.” Maybe we are too busy. We might need to pare down some of our activities in order to make more room for time with God in our lives.

               Do we spend time in God’s Word? God gave us this wonderful guide to Him and His thoughts in order to help us live. We will be calmer more confident people when we know what God expects from us, His children. 

As I review this before posting, I have realized that I have been doing what I want to about my eating habits, too much candy and snack food. It’s something I go through about this time of the winter. I will be taking care of this lapse in my life. I know I have to in order to be able to live and work for Him.

               As we prepare our hearts to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, let’s prepare our hearts in order to be more acceptable to Him.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

If We Obey Christ

“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love,
just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”
John 15:10 (NIV)

               Jesus tells us a key point to staying in His love; we must obey-aka do what He tells us. He draws a parallel between our obedience to Him and His obedience to His Father.

               I often wonder what would have happened if Mary had opted not to obey God and be His chosen instrument to carry and rear His Child. Also, what if Jesus had succumbed to the enemy out in the desert? And how would God have reacted if Jesus had done as the crowd had taunted and come down from that cross?
               But Mary did choose to submit to God and bear and rear His Child. And Jesus did not give in to the enemy, even basing His responses on scriptures. When Jesus was on the cross, He chose not to come down from that cross
Yes, obedience is a choice we make. As we drive we can choose to stop at the corner that has that hexagonal red sign. We can choose to come to a full stop at that same sign with the added message that says we have to wait our turn when we come to a posted corner. In these examples we choose to do the right thing because it is the law and we know we have to obey it.

Some of the choices we make could have consequences that are not what God desires for His children. We have to go into His presence and seek His guidance in order to follow His will for us in these issues.

Monday, February 16, 2015

“If You Love Me. . . . ”
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.”    John 14:15 (NIV) 

Jesus has spoken words of comfort to his disciples. He then tells them He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) In the verse preceding our focus verse Jesus shares with them something that might have astounded them. “You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it.”(:14)
Next, He tells them, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (:15) They might have felt helpless when they heard this. I get a mental picture of each of them having a blank stare as they looked at their Master. Can you hear each of them as they mutter, “What does He mean? I love Him. I’m an adult. I haven’t had to obey anyone since I was a child.”
        The Lord Jesus then continues by promising to send another Counselor to be with them forever. This Counselor will help them as they continue through life.

        In our 21st Century, we see times when people choose to go their own way rather than obey their superiors—parents, supervisors, the laws of the land, or the authorities. We have to understand that in each of the areas of our lives, we have standards that we have to meet, aka rules we have to follow. We choose to follow them because we have regard for those who set the codes.
        As Christian believers, we learn to love Jesus because He shed his blood and died for you and me. We love Him more each day because we learn more of the degree of His love for us, His children.
        When you read this, we will be two, at most, days away from Ash Wednesday, a very important day of the church year. I pray that each of His children can show Him that we love Him during the season of preparation for His Resurrection.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...