Obey: John 14:15

We’ve spent the last 9 weeks looking at the commands of Christ. Hopefully, we’ve all gained a better understanding of what it means to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus. But a better understanding does us no good if we are not willing to put that understanding into action.

This was my third attempt at writing this blog. Every time I would get started, it just didn’t seem right. It was incredibly frustrating, and I couldn’t figure out what was going wrong. It was not until about midway through the Jax United night of worship that God revealed to me the problem: I was a fraud.

In John 14:15 Jesus told his disciples, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” That night as I stood singing my praises to God and proclaiming my love for Him, the Holy Spirit asked me, “Really? Do you mean it? Because if you showed your wife the same disregard you show Me, you probably would have been divorced (or murdered) a long time ago.” It was a crushing moment. My mind raced toward self-justification. But, just like Peter when he heard the rooster crow, I had to admit that I was all talk. I was quick to say that I loved God, but all too often the obedience wasn’t there. Oh sure, I obeyed the commandments that came easy for me. But anytime obedience required the smallest sacrifice from me, I found it really easy to ignore that command. I was taking my God and His grace for granted.

In the days since the Jax United event, I’ve often felt like Peter in John 21:15-19. Though Peter was crushed by the weight of his denial, Jesus was not willing to leave him there. Interestingly, Jesus didn’t just let Peter off the hook—three times He asked Peter, “Do you love me?” Jesus forced Peter to confront the disobedience he so desperately wanted to ignore. Then, in His love and mercy, Jesus gave Peter another chance. Jesus told Peter the cost of obedience, and then He gave him the simple command, “Follow me.”

After 9 weeks of looking at the commands of Christ, it all boils down this: knowing that it may cost you everything, are you willing to follow Jesus? We can study God’s word, we can know all that He has commanded us to do, and we can proclaim our undying love for Him. Those things are great, but they are not enough. We have to be willing to follow (obey) Him no matter what the cost.

Week 10 Questions:

  1. Think back through the commands we’ve studied.  What commands come easy for you? What commands do you find more difficult to follow?
  2. Has this study changed your understanding of what it means to be a true Christ-follower? If so, how?
  3. Read John 21:15-19 again. What do you think was going through Peter’s mind as Jesus continued to question his love? Can you identify with Peter? Are there any areas of your life where you take God’s grace for granted?