The Unmistakable Connection
January 5, 2021
When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. John 15:10-14 NLT
Every one of our thoughts this week are directly the words of Jesus. It’s easy to talk ABOUT Jesus, but it’s much better to let Jesus say it Himself. His words are impossible to misunderstand if we truly want to know what God’s will and word is (John 7:17).
Jesus speaks simple, profound words here that describe His brand. Let’s look at them:
Obey – The key to the brand is obedience. Obedience to the commands of Jesus, which are always for our good, gives us security. We are imitating Jesus’ obedience to His Father, and we are kept in His love just as Jesus is kept in the Father’s love.
Love – The one command of Jesus is that we love each other in the same way He has loved us. Think of that. How has He loved you? Patiently? Quick forgiveness? No grudges? Serving you? We could make quite a list, and as we do, we must remember that the way He loved us is the standard for how we are to love each other.
Laying down our lives – Most of us would claim that we hope it never comes to that, but we would be willing to die for Jesus. Truth is, it’s extremely unlikely we would ever be called to do that. Jesus is not asking us to lay down our lives for Him, but to lay them down for each other. We often make grand declarations in our relationships that we would die for someone we love. That’s also very unlikely, and it’s not at the heart of what Jesus wants from us. “Laying down our lives” for us means putting the other person’s needs before our own. This is the way He loved and loves each of us.
Joy – Living like this causes us to experience overflowing joy! Jesus loves us so much that He specifically told us these secrets so we could overflow with His joy.
And then it circles back around again. We are His friends. We have brand identity if we obey and do as He commands. Isn’t that simple?
So why do we struggle and debate so much about what it means to truly follow Jesus? It’s that word “obey” that starts the whole cycle. We all have a destructive desire for control, and it makes joy and security impossible. Obedience is our job; outcome is His. And He promises joy and remaining in His love.
- Jesus, following You is simple. Hard to make the choice, but simple. Help me obey, love, and lay down my life so I can know real joy and security in You. I want to be Your friend.