Thursday, May 18, 2017

Complete Obedience

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. John 15:10

The Lord Jesus emphasizes the relationship between obedience and abundance. In our verse He explains what He means by remaining in His love: it is indicated by obedience to His commands. Obedience and love are inseparably linked and are mutually dependent upon one another. 

We see this truth illustrated in the life of King Saul. After defeating King Agag, Saul thought it would be a shame to destroy the good along with the bad animals despite the direct command of God. He spared the Almalekite King, in order to bring him home as a trophy of triumph. He also spared “the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them” (1 Sam. 15:9). When the prophet Samuel came to meet Saul on his triumphant return, Saul said, “I have performed the commandment of Lord.” (1 Sam. 15:13), since he had killed the despised and worthless animals. Saul deceived himself thinking partial obedience would be acceptable to God. Saul thought that the Lord would be pleased to have the best of the animals as sacrifices. But Samuel declared, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord...” (1 Sam. 15:22-23). 

In contrast, we read of the Lord Jesus, “Though He as a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and having been made perfect, He became unto all them that obey Him the author of eternal salvation” (Heb. 5: 8-9). Paul wrote, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8). 

The perfect Servant could say of Himself, “I do always the things that are pleasing to him” (John 8:29). The Lord Jesus reminds His disciples and us of this obedient love and informs us of the necessity of complete obedience to Him, which is a demonstration of our love for Him! 

Tim Hadley Sr.

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