A prerequisite is a requirement that needs to be achieved to reach an objective. Today we’ll learn that obeying the commands of God the Father and Jesus His Son is a prerequisite to experiencing complete joy.
Today's Devotional Scripture
"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 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. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." (John 15:9-11, New International Version)
Obedience Isn't Easy
"Obedience” is a word that frustrates a lot of Christians and non-Christians. The thought that an independent-minded U.S. citizen has rules to follow may seem un- American.
We are taught from the earliest age to think for ourselves, stand up for what we believe in and defend our human right to independence. The problem is independent people who operate outside of love and the will of God may not like the results on the Day of Judgment.
I defend every American’s right to the freedoms outlined in our Constitution, but I also recognize that God is not running a democracy or a republic. He is running a Kingdom and His Kingdom requires that we not only love Him and His Son Jesus, but we also obey their rules as an indication of our love for them and our neighbors.
Jesus Taught Love and Obedience
If you have any doubts about the importance of love and obedience, I recommend you read the 14th and 15th chapters of the Gospel of John. Jesus is very intentional and specific in His choice of words as He teaches the disciples. He even goes so far as to connect love, the Holy Spirit and joy with obeying His commands and the commands of God the Father.
For example, consider these words from Jesus in John 14 and compare them to today’s devotional scripture:
- “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:15-17)
- "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” (John 14:23-24)
Jesus’ words may seem demanding, but they also sound extremely logical. If you love someone, don’t you seek to “obey” their instructions or at least listen to what they have to say?
Many parents believe that a child that obeys them is more likely to love them and vice versa. Since God is our Heavenly Father, is it unfair for Him and His Son to ask us to love them AND obey their rules?
Rewards for Obedience
Jesus understood how humans think. As noted earlier in this article, He said there is not one, but three rewards for obedience. He will send the Holy Spirit. He will love you forever. And you and the Lord Jesus will experience complete joy.
As you prepare to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, you should be full of the Spirit and happiness. You may even reach the state of the Apostle Paul when he said: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11).
Each step and action you take prior to and after Easter should be rooted in the joy of having an eternal relationship with a loving God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me. Light a fire of love in my heart so I can love You, Jesus and the Holy Spirit more deeply with each passing day. Fan its flame within me to love others as You love me, and then Your joy in me will be complete. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
The tag on Twitter for this article is #trustandobey and it's logged by @denimartin. You can also comment on this article or send me an email at email@example.com.