Monday meditations: John 14.21

“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” John 14.21

The one thing in the Christian life I don’t think we can emphasize enough is the importance of obedience. That seems to have been the sentiment behind the WWJD campaign that started some years ago now (at least I hope it was about more than selling swag at Christian bookstores, but I digress).

But the “what would Jesus do” approach suffers from a serious problem. If I ask this question, I make myself the arbiter of what to do. It is up to me to assess the situation, up to me to decide what I think Jesus would do, and then do that. I think a far better question to ask is, “what has Jesus commanded me to do?” and then do that. Trying to figure Jesus out on our own is not likely to end with us getting it right. After all, his disciples (who were with him 24/7 for 3 years) were constantly getting it wrong when they tried to guess what Jesus would do. We are likely to do worse.

The good news is Jesus hasn’t left us to figure it out on our own. He has told us what to do and blessed us with the Holy Spirit who leads and convicts us as well. Our problem is not in knowing what we’re supposed to do near as much as that we often don’t want to do it. Obedience is not always easy.

As you meditate on John 14.21 this week, reflect on what it means to ‘have’ Jesus’ commandments. Think about the commandments Jesus gave us all (love God, love neighbor) and think about what specific commands the Lord has given to you.

You say he hasn’t given you any? I’ll bet that’s not the case and even if it is, ask for orders and I promise you the Spirit will give them to you (or remind you of them). The Lord delights in our obedience and is always ready to help those who earnestly seek to obey.

Also spend time reflecting on the connection Jesus makes here between obedience and love. I will say more about this in a future post. It is very important and I think the Spirit will bless your meditation in this area with insight.