Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Love and Obedience

- What a comforting promise/ assurance this (verse 18) is! God never leaves us nor forsakes us. Christ in us, the Hope of Glory! We are not orphans; we are children of God! Christ was comforting His disciples that they would not be left alone and helpless/comfortless. He would come to them (after His resurrection) and after His ascension, His Holy Spirit would be their Comforter, Advocate, Teacher, and Guide. And some day, Christ will return. "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:3) "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:20b) His presence comforts us! Christ gives us Himself! There is no greater gift. His presence makes all the difference in the world! He is absent in body but present in Spirit. "Oh, brethren! if we really believed, not as an article of our creed which has become so familiar to us that it produces little impression upon us, but as a vital and ever-present conviction of our souls, that with us there was ever the real presence of the real Christ, how all burdens and cares would be lightened, how all perplexities would begin to smooth themselves out and be straightened, how all the force would be sucked out of temptations, and how sorrows and joys and all things would be changed in their aspect by that one conviction intensely realised and constantly with us! A present Christ is the Strength, the Righteousness, the Peace, the Joy, and as we shall see, in the most literal sense, the Life of every Christian soul...This present Christ is the only Remedy for the orphanhood of the world... It is true that the strength of the Christian life of Apostles and martyrs was this, the assurance that Christ Himself-no mere rhetorical metaphor for His influence or His example, or His memory lingering in their imaginations, but the veritable Christ Himself-was present with them, to strengthen and to bless." (MacLaren)

- The evidence of our love for Christ is obedience to His commands/teaching. God loves (in the sense of being very pleased with) obedient children and will be with them. We are the temples/dwelling places of the living God (the Father, Son, and Spirit). "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?" (1 Corinthians 3:16) "For we are the temple of the living God." (2 Corinthians 6:16) 
Obedience is not the way to earn God's love or obtain salvation. It's the way we express our love and gratitude to God. If we love and obey the Lord, we will experience and enjoy sweet, intimate fellowship with Him continually forever. This relationship is personal and permanent. He reveals/manifests Himself & His will and pours out abundant measures of grace to those who love and obey Him.

- Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your constant presence! I love You and I want my thoughts, words, and deeds to always please and honor You. Please empower me to faithfully walk in love and obedience. May You be glorified and magnified in my life!

"Those who obey God's Word truly show how completely they love Him." (1 John 2:5) 

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