May January 2018 be the month of love...and 2018 the year of love! The last two weeks we touched on Real Love (Rom 12:9-21), and Love at Ten Years (1 Cor 13:1-13)--last Sunday being West Loop's 10th anniversary. Paul says that love must be real (Rom 12:9) and that love is the greatest (1 Cor 13:13). This Sunday, we consider what Jesus says about love and obedience (Jn 14:15, 21, 23).
Jesus says, "If you love Me, you will keep [obey] My commands" (Jn 14:15, HCSB, ESV, [NLT]).
There are so many commands in the Bible to keep and obey. Which is the most important? Which is the fundamental and foundational command for me to keep and obey?
At the beginning of John 14, Jesus said to his troubled disciples, "Believe in God; believe also in me" (Jn 14:1, HCSB, ESV) or "Trust in God, and trust also in me" (Jn 14:1, NLT).
Theme: To love God is to trust him (Jn 14:1). When we love and trust God we obey him (Jn 14:15, 21, 23). Our ultimate obedience is to trust God regardless of our situation (Prov 3:5).
In 2013, while studying Jesus' upper room dialogues, I preached on John 14 with the title Believe in Jesus. My point was that when we simply believe in God without fear or doubt, all of our problems vanish away. That's what Jesus promised his disciples (Jn 14:1). It really seems cliche and simplistic or even unrealistic to say, "Believe and trust God and you'll have absolutely no problems!"
Yet our lives, even as we profess faith in God, is often inundated with our own frustrating problems and issues that never seem to go away, or that keep recurring again and again. Often without any effort, we keep falling into the same problem over and over: fear, lust, anger, bitterness, resentment, sorrow, unforgiveness, even uncontrollable hatred.