Love, the Driver of Obedience

July 5, 2022

Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15 NASB) There is a deep connection between our love for Jesus and our obedience to Him.  These powerful words of Jesus are simply stated, but I don’t think I have always understood them properly.

In the past, in my mind, I basically flipped the statement around to say, “If I keep His commandments, then I will really prove that I love Him.”  In other words, I believed that commandment keeping was the way in which I could show my love for Jesus. Or, with a slightly different nuance, one might say love and obedience are the same thing.  I’m not saying that these thoughts are wrong or unbiblical (see for example 1 John 5:3), but I don’t think they capture what Jesus was saying in John 14:15.

I believe Jesus was saying that love is the driver of obedience.  Love for Jesus is the force that motivates our obedience to Jesus.  If we love Him, keeping His commandments will follow as a natural consequence of that love. 

What does it mean, then, to love Jesus?  It means to cherish Him, to delight in Him, to take immense pleasure in Him, and to have great satisfaction in Him.  When is the last time you just took time to marvel at Jesus and delight in Him?  When is the last time you took time to praise and adore Him for everything He is, everything He has done, and everything He is doing now?  When is the last time you have expressed your love to Him without any other agenda in your mind?  As our love for Jesus grows, our desire to keep His commandments will grow.  Why?  Because we will want to please the One we love.  We will want to be near to Him and be like Him. When we love Him, keeping His commandments will not be a burden, but love in action.

And this love is not a one-way street.  He loves us, too!  Of course, He loves all mankind, but He loves His disciples in a very special way.  As Jesus says later in the same passage, “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” (John 14:21 NASB)

Not only will the Father and Son love us, but Jesus promises to disclose Himself to us.  What a blessed thought!  May our love for Jesus be ever growing.     

—Scott Colvin


Do the Book of Revelation

February 1, 2016

People like to speculate about the Book of Revelation. It has suffered much at the hands of its readers. If you are interested in the symbols of Revelation, I recommend Stafford North’s Unlocking Revelation: Seven Simple Keys. But there are a number of ways to get a handle on Revelation’s message. I think if you grasp the seven letters to the churches of Asia Minor in Revelation 2-3, you have a pretty good idea what the book is about. Revelation contains seven beatitudes (1:3, 14:13, 16:15, 19:9, 20:6, 22:7, and 22:14). If you understand these beatitudes, I think you have a pretty good idea of the message of the book. But there is even another way.

The sixth beatitude in Revelation reads: “Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book” (Revelation 22:7, ESV). This beatitude says the book is about doing. Revelation contains 96 commands, but most of those have to do with the dramatic action of the visions. If we narrow the list down to those commands that have application to all Christians, the list is shorter.

  • Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. 2:5
  • Do not fear what you are about to suffer. 2:10
  • Be faithful unto death…. 2:10
    Therefore, repent. 2:16
  • Only hold fast what you have until I come. 2:25
  • Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die… 3:2
  • Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. 3:3
  • Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. 3:11
  • … so be zealous and repent. 3:19
  • And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” 14:7
  • Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her!” 18:20
  • And from the throne came a voice saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.” 19:5
  • Worship God. 19:10, 22:9 (with the implication worship God only)
  • Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy. 22:11

Read Revelation and pay particular attention to the commands. If you practice these commands, I think you understand the message of Revelation. Jesus and John want us to do the Book of Revelation.