John 14:23

Verse of the Week:  In John 14:23, Jesus said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

Encouraging Thought:  Jesus said that if you love Him, you will obey Him.  Then when you obey Him, God the Father will love you, and the three persons of the Trinity will move into your heart and life.  (That’s why the verse says “we” and “our.”)  The phrase “make our abode with” means “to live with.”  Yet, I John 4:19 says, “We love him, because he first loved us.”  You see, God loved us first.  It’s because of His love for us that we’re even able to love Him.  But if we truly love Him, we will honor Him with our obedience, and God loves an obedient child.

Now, contemplate the words of Jesus.  “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him…”  Does that mean that God only loves us when we’re obedient?  No.  He loves us regardless.  Consider a father with two sons.  One is rebellious and disobedient, while the other is obedient and respectful.  The father loves them both.  Because the father loves his disobedient son, the boy’s behavior and poor decisions are breaking his heart.  But the obedient child who works hard to please his father gives him great joy.  He has a special love for his obedient son. That’s the kind of love that God has for his obedient child; a love that is also available to the disobedient child when he turns his life around and starts making decisions that please his father. 

Words of Wisdom:  When a child loves his parents, he doesn’t want to disappoint them by disobedience or getting involved in something that they wouldn’t approve of.  The same is true of Christians.  According to John 14:23, if we truly love Jesus, we will display that love by our obedience.  That is what the Lord meant when he said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words…” 

Before you can keep Christ’s words, you must first know His word.  Do you read your Bible every day or do you only pick it up at church every now and then?  Do you understand what the Bible teaches about honesty, humility, pride, gossip, forgiveness, loving others, thankfulness, disobedience, salvation, spreading the Gospel, end time prophecy…  Psalm 119:11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”  Obeying the Word of God is crucial to maintaining a holy lifestyle.  And a holy lifestyle pleases God.

However, before you can obey the Word of God, you must know what God expects of you, otherwise you won’t be able to obey Him.  That’s why II Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 

Keeping the Words of Christ starts with reading your Bible.

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