“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.” John 15:10–12 (NLT), bold mine.
Sometimes we wonder about obedience. After all, it feels difficult at times. It requires selflessness, serving, unconditional love and grace. It’s sacrifice and many times, it can feel painful! Father, we can’t do all these things on our own. We so desperately need you.
Lord, we desire to live a life in obedience to you, but it gets confusing when our wants get pushed to the side. If it feels uncomfortable, we make excuses. Bring in suffering and we question your will.
Father, we understand what it means to follow Christ—we need to set aside our own desires, “pick up our crosses” and follow Jesus. As of today, we have yet to discover “carrying crosses” as fun, exciting or even pleasurable. Yet, that’s what you want us to do. You want us to live our lives in submission to your will.
We know the gospel sets us free from earning our salvation; we now run for a crown (1 Cor. 9:23–27). Ultimately, we will lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus, for He has earned our salvation for us. Our obedience earns nothing, but it does show we love you. How can we honestly say we love you if we ignore what you say?
So help us to continue to pursue a life of obedience and help us to remember although obedience can feel torturous at times, it always produces something. Joy follows obedience (John 15:10). For Jesus intended His teachings to produce freedom and joy, not bondage and grief (John 10:10; Matt. 11:30).
Help us to see obedience means Good News for others! Father, you delight in obedience because it demonstrates your glory to others. It shows others the glorious power of your grace eradicating the sins we struggle with every day.
Help us to understand obedience produces faith that sets our hope on your mercy. And mercy means our obedience does not have to be perfect; it only has to be penitent (1 John 1:9). We thank you for your mercy and for this wonderful truth!
And we praise you for Your Word. After all, obedience depends on your Word to help us live out a relationship with you. Your love letter to us shows us how to live the kind of life you want to give us.
And Lord we praise you because when we fully obey with our hearts, we experience your best and enjoy the satisfaction of pleasing you because obedience always leads to your blessing. Jesus pointed out your blessing comes from obeying the truth, not just knowing it (John 13:17).
Father, help us not to just wonder about obedience but to continue to pursue it. When we submit to your will, we produce fruit (John 15:2), we have our prayers answered (John 15:7) and we experience a deepening love for Christ and for other believers (John 15:9, 12-13). We also experience an overflow of joy (John 15:11). So help us and show us how to do all things for the sake of the gospel and by the grace and truth of the gospel.
In Jesus name we pray, through the power of Your Holy Spirit, Amen. ~Raquel