Sunday Services @ 9:15am & 10:45am
John 14:20-25 – In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.
In a recent interview, John Ortberg mused about the lackadaisical way American Christians often approach the concept of “discipleship". We argue across denominational lines exactly what is required for salvation, and at what point a person moves across the line from “saved” to “unsaved,” but Ortberg points out that those debates miss the point. We are arguing about where the least-demanding, lowest-investment line exists that will allow us to enter Heaven. In other words: “What is the least I can do to satisfy God?” Is that really the question we want to ask?
Jesus never had those kinds of conversations with His followers. He never said, “Alright guys, I know you are really busy and have plenty of other things you want to do, so let’s just cut to the chase – here is the least you can do to satisfy Me.” On the other hand, He made it clear that life with Him was radical; revolutionary. And He never asked these guys to simply believe in Him. He told them to FOLLOW Him. And, (in these verses), to obey Him.
That does not imply, by the way, “salvation by works". We are people of Grace, but Grace is opposed to earning, not to effort. You cannot earn your salvation, but that does not mean that God does not intend for You to obey. Three times in today’s verses, Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey me.” That is more than easy-believism. It is discipleship.
Today, let’s remember that God’s Grace is more than just forgiveness for your sin – it is God’s power in us to do what we could not do on our own. The offer to become a disciple is a gift of Grace. God is calling us to a life that requires Grace. So today, pray that God will do in us, and through us, what we could not do on our own. Pray that we will walk with Him, and obey Him, and show the world a different kind of love than it could see anywhere else. And when we stumble, let’s thank God that His Grace covers that, too.