15) If ye love me, keep my commandments.John 14:15 (KJV)
My dad fought with health issues during the latter part of his life.
You try to prepare for the worst, but it is never easy to think about losing your dad. It has been almost 10 years now since he passed away.
He was a good friend, father, and husband. Even after all these years there is still that urge to call him to ask for advice or just talk.
I once had a dream on a Monday night. It was so real that I can remember all the details about it.“How can someone love me so much and hate me so much?”
My dad was there sitting at a table. I was so glad to see him. I ran to him, threw my arms around him, and said, “Dad, I love you.”
His reaction was not what I expected. I can still see his face as he replied, “How can you love someone so much but hate him so much?”
I was heartbroken. That is when I woke up literally crying from the dream.
It took me two days and a sermon by my pastor to realize that this was not my earthly father speaking to me but in fact it was my heavenly father that spoke.
He asked the question, “How can someone love me so much and hate me so much?”
This is a question every Christian faces everyday, and in this short devotional I want to unpack the meaning behind it, especially as it relates to obedience to God.
The Blessings of an Obedient Heart
So, what does it mean? It all goes back to what Jesus said. “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (Jn. 14:15)
Obedience to God has always been man’s problem. Time after time the Israelites turned from obedience to rebellion over the course of their history. Unfortunately, disobedience is in our nature.
Saul offered a strange fire unto God and consulted with a woman with a familiar spirit.
David committed adultery and murder. Judas betrayed Jesus for money. Unfortunately, disobedience is in our nature.
Paul, in his final words in the first letter to the Corinthians, said this, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.” (1 Cor. 16:22)“Rain, bread, safety, peace, respect, fruitful…multiply. A list of promises from God just for being obedient to the commandments he has laid out for us.”
“Anathema” means to be accursed. So Paul proclaims that not loving Christ brings a curse upon that person.
So it goes to say that not being obedient to his commandments would mean that that curse is upon that person.
That might explain a lot of things going on in your life. Its kind of a dark thought, but there is a bright side.
“If ye walk in my statues, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season. (Lev. 26:3-4)
“Ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid.” (Lev. 26:5-6) And then…
9) For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.Leviticus 26:9 (KJV)
Rain, bread, safety, peace, respect, fruitful…multiply. A list of promises from God just for being obedient to the commandments he has laid out for us.
Promises that should motivate us to show him how much we love him. We can all use what God tells us in Leviticus. All it takes is obedience.
John 9:31 gives us another promise for obedience.
31) Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.John 9:31 (KJV)
God hears our prayers when we are obedient. When you feel like God is not hearing your prayers the first thing you should do is not blame God but search yourself.
As Psalm 139:23-24 states…
24) And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.Psalm 139:23-24 (KJV)
This should be our prayer every morning. This prayer helps us to be obedient to the commandments of God. But ultimately, there must be change and obedience.
“How can you love someone so much but hate him so much?”
If you love God…keep his commandments.
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The Preaching of John the Baptist, (1634). Bartholomeus Breenbergh (Dutch, Deventer 1598–1657 Amsterdam). Oil on wood. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Purchase, The Annenberg Foundation Gift, 1991. 1991.305.