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Devo - Love Motivates Obedience

Love Motivates Obedience
Matthew 28:20

Jesus is not asking us to try really hard to clean up our own life, or be religious, or obey a list of to-dos. The transformation of our lives comes through a love relationship with him. This devotion comes from the Becoming a Disciple series and the fifth message titled Teach.”

Not only does the Holy Spirit lead into all truth, but he enables us to obey Jesus, which is the command in John 14, verse 15. “If you love me, obey my commands...” And here’s the Helper to empower you to do it, to enable you to do it, verses 16 and 17 go on to say.

So, the number one thing we have to know is Jesus is not asking us to try really, really hard to be religious, or to look like a Christian, or to clean up our act. Listen, Jesus knows us far too well. And he knows how worthless that is – how counterproductive it is for us to try to clean up our own lives and act religious. Jesus isn’t asking us to try really, really hard to obey a list of to-dos and to-don’ts. You know that, right? He’s not doing that. Without the power of the Holy Spirit and the life of Jesus Christ in you, that is dead religion.

Notice closely, please; Jesus says first (look at verse 15), “If you love me…” Can I tell you this, please? All discipleship, all following of Jesus Christ, all of it starts with love. It starts with “If you love me…” Following Jesus doesn’t start with religion. It can start by coming to church, but it’s just so that you can hear about Jesus so you can fall in love with him and then start following him.

It doesn’t start with you cleaning up your life. There’s not enough cleaner, by the way. It starts with you loving Jesus. It starts with you loving Jesus. Our relationship with Jesus is a love relationship. Everything else, including the transformation of our life, comes through that love relationship. That’s why Jesus starts with, “If you love me…”

If you love Jesus because Jesus first loved you. When you get a hold of that, if you love Jesus because Jesus died for you, he died in your place. If you love Jesus because he paid the full penalty on your behalf on the Cross, if you love Jesus because he died, and he faced the consequences of sin and death and the grave, and he conquered them, and he rose victorious so that you never have to die. If you love Jesus for who he is and for what he has done, then Jesus says… obey him.

Do you see how love comes first? It’s love which motivates obedience.
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