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Obedience - The Proof of Love

"This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome" (1 John 5:3). Love involves the desire to please the object of that love - our God. "And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love." (2 John 1:6)

Jesus preached a message of love, belief in Him as God, change in lifestyle away from the world and its sinful ways, and obedience to His commands so man could be reconciled to God the Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Now obedience because of love is not doing something because you are in agreement with it or even thinking it is the best alternative. Obedience cannot be forced upon you by threat of force or economic sanctions. It is performing something desired, requested or commanded even when it appears unreasonable, illogical or unnecessary. Obedient love is a voluntary action taken just because the one you love wants it done and because you desire to please Him.

Several examples of this type of obedience have been seen in previous lessons.

• Noah spent years building an ark to exact specifications.

• Following the flood and his return to dry land Noah built an altar and offered a sacrifice to God, an act of worship because of love.

• Abraham circumcised all males within his household - something that by human standards and reason was totally unreasonable but he did so since God wanted it done.

• Abraham took his only son of promise to a mountain and built an altar to offer him as a sacrifice to God. By man's standards this is murder and no normal man would do such thing but Abraham did because of his complete trust in God.

The terrified Israelites reached the Red Sea with Pharaoh and his army in pursuit close behind. By what logic could anyone expect the sea to part allowing the Israelites to cross? But Moses, putting his faith, belief and trust in the God he loved, obeyed and the sea opened for them to cross.

Finally, Jesus, having spent three years teaching and establishing that He was the Son of God by his miracles, set His face toward Jerusalem. He was determined to go there even though He knew the Jews, with the help of Roman officials, were going to kill him. But He willingly went giving His life because that was why He left Heaven. His prayer to God shows his complete obedience with death on the cross at hand " ... He went away a second time and prayed, 'My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done'." (Matthew 26:42)

Therefore when it comes to obedience to God's requirements for reconciliation, we must obey because we love him, regardless of how unreasonable we think it is. Like Jesus, our desire must be "thy will be done".

1. Love for someone is doing something they desired because
      We think is it is the right thing to do.
      It appears to be the better of all other alternatives.
      We think it will please the one we love

2. Love can be obtained by family pressures, economic or political sanctions, threats or even gifts.

3. Jesus’ desire to go to Jerusalem was to observe the Passover even if it resulted in His arrest.

4. Our response to Jesus teaching on salvation should be whatever You, Jesus, want.

5. Everyone will be reconciled to God even those who do not obey His commands because Jesus died for all mankind.

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