Journey Group Devotional, 11/11/15
A young lady returned to work after lunch one day to find flowers and a note on her desk. She opened the note and read, I love you, then promptly ripped the note in half and tossed it and the flowers in the trash can. She had just found out that her boyfriend was seeing someone else.
With the cross just hours away, Jesus announced to His disciples that He was leaving. Their responses to this announcement indicated a certain amount of devotion to Him.
- Where are you going?
- Why can’t I come with you?
- How can we know the way?
His disciples obviously lacked a complete understanding of His purpose and plan. But you have to agree they wanted to be with Him. Peter, however, overstated the depth of his devotion when he declared, I will lay down my life for You. This may have been true in that moment. But Jesus informed him that his devotion would shortly be put to the test. Peter would fail the test (John 13:38). After His resurrection, Jesus would revisit Peter’s failure. Jesus asked Peter three times, Do you love Me? And restating His original call, He said to Peter, Follow Me, (John 21:19).
Jesus reveals Himself as the way, the truth, and the life, which demands His Lordship over our lives. Believing is more than an intellectual assent. Jesus said believing in Him will result in doing His work, (John 14:12). In the same way, loving Him is more than just saying words. Jesus said, If you love Me you will keep My commands. (John 14:15). He then went further, saying that if we love Him and keep His commands we will enjoy a special and personal relationship with Him, (John 14:19-24).
John had walked with Jesus and his letters to the churches contain the recurring theme of love. In His letters, John defines love, tells us where it comes from, and how to love God. It isn’t as complicated as it might seem. Notice:
For this is what love for God is: to keep His commands – 1 John 5:3
Now this is His command: that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commands remains in Him, and He in him. And the way we know that He remains in us is from the Spirit He has given us – 1 John 3:23-24
The bottom line: Don’t say, I love you, if your actions don’t match your words. We say, I love You, Jesus, when we keep His commands.