“If you love me, you will keep my commandments." (John 14:15 HCSB)
Worship — When Jesus speaks of love, he allows no room for sentimental fantasy or momentary emotion. He sees love through the eyes of the Father, and from this point of view, he deeply understands that true, eternal, godly love is bold and strong, but also painful, messy and sacrificial.
A love of this strength and magnitude can only take root in the soil of abandonment. We abandon our rights, our thoughts, and our schemes. It was this total and uncompromising abandonment to God that led Jesus to say and do only what the Father told him to do (John 14:10). And it was this uncompromising abandonment that led him to the Cross.
If we are to become just like Christ, then we too must be abandoned to the Father. We must line up with the thoughts and plans of God so closely that we appear to be 'at one' with him, just as a married couple, deeply abandoned to each other, appear to live as one. Through abandonment, we walk so closely with God that, when people see us, they see the Father at work.
It's this abandonment that Jesus is teaching when he says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments." In other words, He's not demanding that you be obedient; rather, he's telling you that love for him should compel you to embrace his purposes.
The Jesus way is that you obey God's commands because you love God, not because you must obey God. By actively pursuing the purposes of God, you worship your Creator.
This also gives you a Christ-like perspective on the daily details of your life, turning every decision into a moment of adoration for God. When you let someone else take the parking space, when you stand behind a promise that proves more costly than you imagined, when you extend hospitality to the cranky neighbor next door, these are moments of worship to God because you are choosing to be obedient to his purposes, rather than doing things your own way. Even choosing not to sin becomes an act of worship as it brings you into closer alignment with God's commands.
As you face decisions today, ask God to show you which path will be an act of worship to him. Then, and I know this is easier said than done, move where he tells you to move.
As you take this step, keep your eyes sensitive to God’s Grace and presence in the moment. Do this throughout the day, keeping a log so you can track your movement toward oneness with God and his purposes.
Editor’s note: Over the past three years, John Fischer has written these devotionals with insight and clarity, both as a ministry to you and as an act of worship to God. His ability to communicate biblical truths in a fresh, unique way has reflected his love for God and his obedience to Christ's commands. We will be forever grateful for the eternal investment John made through these devotionals. You can keep up with his activities at http://www.fischtank.com.
Jon Walker is a pastor-advocate living in Southern California and the former pastor of communications at Saddleback Church.
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