Athlete, Jesus calls for obedience


Athlete, Jesus calls for obedience

Tom Petersburg

John 15:14 (NASB)

You are My friends if you do what I command you.

This “friendship with Jesus” perspective has sounded pretty inviting this week. Who doesn’t want friends in high places? Then Jesus drops the obedience part.

We live in a day when independence is so treasured that people pass up friendships because good friendships bring some costs and commitments. It is always more fun to be on the receiving end than on the giving end.

With Jesus, keeping His commandments is NOT HOW you become friends with Him. Keeping His commandments is the evidence that you are making Him your friend.

Jesus is a friend, but also more than a friend. He is also ruler of the universe, sovereign, wise and righteous. Righteous … always right. His word was never meant to be convenient or acceptable by the world’s system. He is not just a buddy we can blow off if we don’t like his advice or request.

The problem with disobedience is twofold. One, what Jesus asks us to do is always what is best for us. Two, obedience is ultimately a relational issue. When we rebel against God, we pull away from Him. We put some distance in the friendship. He does not move away, but we do. That grieves God.

It is not unusual for a Jesus-follower to intentionally keep some distance from Jesus. He just might ask something of us that we are hesitant to do. We might lose some other friends who do not like the priority that Jesus’ friendship holds in our lives.

Our love for God is measured by our obedience. In John 14:15, Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”(NASB)

Thomas Chalmers, a 19th Scottish theologian, authored The Expulsive Power of a New Affection. Chalmers primary point is that our hearts love sin. We will rarely just give up our cherished sins, unless we replace them with a greater affection. Friendship with Jesus can become that greater affection.

Today’s devotional is one of five this week on “A Friend of Jesus” by Tom Petersburg.

Tom Petersburg,

we saved you a seat