Obedience of Jesus
This morning I began my study in John 14. I got caught up in the obedience of Jesus and then I began to think of all the times we are asked to be imitators of Jesus. I worked my way through the chapter and came to 14:30-31
“30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.”
I read this passage over and over this morning. There were two things that really impacted me and I had to consider if I reflected that kind of faith.
1. Did I believe that the ruler of this world had no claim on me?
2. Was I really living a life that showed my love for God?
Claims of the Ruler of this World
How could I make that claim that the adversary had no claim on me? I began thinking about the promises of Jesus and I started doing word searches in my Bible. The first place I looked was John 17. For me this is one of those most amazing prayers by Jesus for me and all who believe. I read verses 13-21 and saw the promise of protection there.
13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Jesus prays that God may “keep them from the evil one.” and he goes on in 20-21 to include “those who will believe in me through their word”. As I read that there is a peace that comes with it.
I was also reminded that this is a war and that I must be diligent in my faith. I remembered Ephesians 6:10-20 where Paul reminds us to put on the full armor of God and 1Peter 5:8 where Peter reminds us to be watchful for the enemy.
These things I can burn on my heart and hold on tightly. It is not that it will be easy, but these passages remind me of Jesus and His strength and that I must rely on that and follow Him.
Living a Life Showing my Love for God
As I pondered this concept this morning I thought of Paul’s writings.
1 Corinthians 11:1 (ESV) 1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
1 Corinthians 4:16 (ESV) 16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me.
As I looked at these passages I sought out others that spoke of this in concept. I went to Philippians 2:1-11
1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
I read this passage and I am humbled. What awesome guidance are in these words. I see Jesus in them. Washing the disciple’s feet… sitting on a hill before thousands teaching the beatitudes. His complete and total obedience to God the Father… “6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (verse -8). It is just so powerful.
I read, Philippians 3:1 – 4:1, where Paul speaks of his heart and striving for the promises of God.
As I look at all these I cannot claim that I have achieved all this confidence and trust in Jesus Christ, but I continue to press on toward that goal. I am filled with a thankful heart for the gift of the Holy Spirit. And I know that ALL my help comes from the Lord!
I find myself in Psalms as I consider all this. Psalm 121 My Help Comes from the Lord. This is a family favorite passed down from my father’s father…
Psalms 121 (ESV)
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
My strength, my hope, and my salvation come from God… He shows me in His Word and to say I am thankful is such a seemingly small and insufficient response… but it is all I have…