Friday, December 11, 2015

Demonstrating Our Love

John 14:15-31

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.  At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:15-21)

Just a few days before, in John 13:34-35 Jesus had told his disciples, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”  That love for each other is the evidence to the unsaved world that they are God’s children.    If Christians will keep Jesus’ commandments, he promises God will give them the Holy Spirit.  The world has no understanding of the Holy Spirit but the Christians will because he will be in them.    Though Jesus would ascend back into heaven, his disciples would never be alone.    Like any good parent, God will give extra attention to an obedient child. 

“Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?” (John 14:22)

The  other Judas , from Acts 1:13 we know this to be James’ brother, asked how Jesus could manifest himself to believers without the world also seeing him.   

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.  These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:23-26)

Jesus explained that if a person loves him, he will obey God’s commands.  While a parent loves his children, those who will not obey are scolded and punished, but those who are obedient get to know their fathers love in much more pleasant manner.  Disobedient children frequently feel their parents don’t love them.  In the same way, God is able to share his love for obedient children in a more loving manner.   He will come into them and live with them.  A person who doesn’t love him enough to obey him misses out on that close communion.  This is God’s plan, and the Holy Spirit’s job is to teach us and remind us of what God has commanded.  Sadly, many people spend all their time trying to get god’s attention by other activities rather than simply obeying. 

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.  And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.  Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.  But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.” (John 14:27-31)

The world always thinks Christ came to send peace to the world.  In Matthew 10:34-36, Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.”    Though Jesus offers peace, his very presence causes conflict, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be,” according to Romans 8:7.  As a result, Isaiah 48:22 tells us, “There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.” 

While the world tries to obtain peace, Romans 3:17 says, “And the way of peace have they not known.”  The peace Jesus promises is that inner peace in one’s heart.  It does not mean there are no conflicts around us, but that we are not upset by the things around us.  

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