“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:9-12 (NIV)
How sad would it be if I tried to obey you simply because I should or must? How pathetic would it be if my desire to obey you was only a compulsion rooted in a sense of obligation? How successful would I be in obeying you, if I would rather not, and my heart was not in it? Those are very interesting questions. You already know what I am going to say, don’t you? Yes, I do. You are going to ask me to answer my own questions. Yes, I am. I’ll answer that last question first. Go ahead, I’m listening. I would have no chance of being successful in obeying you, if I would rather not, and my heart was not in it. Of that, I am certain. Of that, I am sure. Why is that? Let me say this, I do not have a sad and pathetic reason to obey you. I don’t obey you because I should or must. I don’t obey you because I feel a compulsion that is rooted in a sense of obligation. Furthermore, I don’t believe that you would be pleased or have any joy in seeing me try to obey you for those reasons. No, I would not. You are correct. Why then do you obey my commands? I want to obey you because I love you. It is the passionate desire of my heart to do what is good and right and pleasing to you. My love for you has filled me with desire to know and do your will. I want to live in your love. I want to obey your commands. I want to live a life that is filled with the same joy that you had in loving and following and obeying your Heavenly Father. I want to follow your example. I want to love you like you loved. I want to do what you did. So, I will love you. I will love my Heavenly Father. I will love others just as you have loved me. This is what is good and right and pleasing to you. Yes, it is. This is the life I want to live with and for you, because I love you with all my heart and mind and soul and strength. That is very good. Yes, it is. It is way beyond very good. It is all that I could have every hoped for, dreamed, or desired. Yes, it is.
Lord, thank you for loving me. Help me to live and remain in your love. Help me to fully demonstrate my love for you by obeying your commands. Help me to follow your example by loving others deeply from my heart. Help me to live a life of complete joy in you. Amen
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