Verse of the Day Devotion: John 14:15
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” – John 14:15
This is a very important verse, for it shows us what true love for Jesus looks like. Now, He is not questioning or doubting their love. He is saying that by the observance of His commands and precepts, it displays their love to Him. This is not saying we are saved by keeping His commands, but that we are showing our love for God by obeying His commands. This is a much surer test than simply the profession of our love. Many people say they love God, for this is something that is the ‘Christian’ thing to say. But the proof of this declaration is obedience. If we do not obey Him, how can we say we love Him? If we love Him, we will honor Him as Lord and King.
Jesus put it this way. “THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.” Matthew 15:8. This is a quotation of the words of the prophet Isaiah where He declared, “Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,” Isaiah 29:13. Isaiah here is writing what the Lord told him. In essence, the Lord is saying that people will say and do whatever it takes to let people think they honor and love God, even though their hearts are in opposition to their words and deeds.
The theologian Adam Clarke puts it this way in his commentary notes on Matthew 15:8. “The true worship of God consists in the union of the heart to him – where this exists not, a particle of the spirit of devotion cannot be found.” We can say all we want regarding our love for God. However, if our hearts are not in union with His, we will not be devoted to Him and His ways. We will not obey Him in all things but will select those things in which we agree and are willing to follow. This is not true love as our focus verse says. True love is obeying and following Him in all ways. Now, we may stumble and fall at times in following His ways, but if we follow what Jesus says in that, “AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.” Mark 12:30, then we can ask forgiveness for we are His children and He will forgive us.
And lastly, the world is constantly watching us Christians who declare our love for God and our devotion to Him. It is important that they see the reality of our walk. If we profess our love for Him and then act in ways that deny this love, why should anybody listen to us? I saw an assistant Pastor once who declared the most important thing to do was to show our love for Jesus, and then, in a skit, acted as someone who was in love with the Pastor in a very inappropriate way. We cannot do this and expect the world to believe us. Therefore, it is important that we study His Word and know what He has commanded us to do as well as what not to do; both to honor God and to be a light to the world.
How can we say we love Him if we disobey Him and refuse to follow His commandments? We cannot and be truthful to Him and ourselves.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.