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faith, fasting, Friends, holiness, knowing God, love

Affection-Based Obedience

[This post is part of a 40-day season of fasting and prayer called “Rend 960” that my church is doing]

Affection Based Obedience
John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 
I was a “good kid”. I always did what was right. Why? I didn’t want to get in trouble! It was fear-based obedience. I was afraid of punishment. Is this what motivates our obedience to Jesus? Are we afraid that God is going to punish us if we don’t do what He has asked?
A better motivation might be to do what is right simply because it’sright. In that place, we’re moving a little closer to the heart of God. And, if we have nothing else to motivate us, I think choosing right, because we know it’s right, is a very safe and good motivation, without giving way to a spirit of fear.  However, Jesus, who has called us into FRIENDSHIP (as you may remember from previous post) sets up an even higher, more holy motivation = Love.
He wants us to know His Love for us deeply. So deeply that it moves our will and desires to WANT to obey Him, wholeheartedly, at all times, because we know that His motives towards us are good and fueled by pure, divine Love. When we experience His love, we can’t help by loving Him back! And, how do we show Him our response of love? By trusting His heart in obeying Him.
And, what is His great commandment which we are asked to obey in love?  To love one another. When we know the depth of His great love for us, it’s actually a “no-brainer”. The deeper your experience of His love, the more natural it will be for that same deep love to flow out of you to others. When we know we are loved, it’s our great joy to love others as well — by laying our life down.
May we know the Love of God, beyond understanding, and give it away!
Ephesians 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom  every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to  the riches of his glory  he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit  in your inner being, 17  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being  rooted and  grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
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About Jessie

Lover of God. Husband. Dad. Director of the Furnace at Michigan State University.

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