*written in 2017 but never published til now.
In LifeGroup through my church last week, we were asked to read John 14:15 and then to imagine Dr. Phil asking as he would, “how’s that goin’ for you?”
John 14:15 reads:
If you love me, keep my commands.
Cue Dr. Phil’s “how’s that goin for you?” … and my group’s immediate reaction was OUCH.
Obviously, thinking of the verse that way made us feel like we’re missing the mark because we’re not constantly carrying out Jesus’ commands and therefore we must not love Him. It hurt. It cut us right through to the core. I looked around at the fallen faces of the ladies in my group and I knew there was more to this. I smiled, looked at the girls and reminded them,
- The bible is a double edged sword, a book of checks and balances, of tension and release (Heb 4:12). Reading a verse like this is to help us judge the thoughts and attitudes of our heart. Therefore,
- Remember even Paul said in Romans 7:15-24 that although He wants to do what Jesus commands, he often fails. Is it because he doesn’t love Him? NO. It’s because he is not yet perfect and he can’t be perfect until he is made like Jesus. Until then, he has to pick up his cross daily (Luke 9:23). Therefore,
- The verse John 14:15, is meant to create healthy tension.
We can’t let something like John 14:15 condemn us, but we must let it convict us. Are we keeping His commands? Not always, but it doesn’t mean we don’t love Him. It means we need to be aware of our need to keep persevering (Heb. 112:1-2) and have faith that He is the author and finisher of our faith….and that that kind of faith is true love, a love that drives us, compels us to keep His commands.