Obeying Jesus’ commandments

Abiding1Just how do we obey Jesus? And, for that matter, how do we actually do what Jesus did? (W.W.J.A.D.)

Secondly, what is the outcome of this obedience? I ask this because when you understand what I have to say, it will unlock the deepest desires of your heart!

A lot has been taught and written about obedience to Christ, but I submit to you that it’s both impossible for us to do in our strength and exceedingly simpler than you might imagine…and exceedingly better!

But you’re going to have to do one thing before understanding this wonderful news…

You will need to leave your legalistic orphan-hearted view of obedience and read Jesus’ words with fresh eyes of faith.

Can you do this?

Great! Let’s continue…

Jesus talked about obedience in His last discourse with His disciples before being betrayed in John’s gospel account (John 13:31-17:26). I will share what I believe to be the definitive passage here.

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.  10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.  12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. ” (John 15:9-12)

The first thing I want you to see is Jesus’ statement about how we are loved by God. He is basically saying that He loves you the SAME as the Father loves Him.  By the way, in John 17:23, we find out that the Father loves us the same as He loves Jesus.

So, just how much does the Father love Jesus?

Then, how much does God love you?  Selah…

Next, in verse 10, Jesus makes the statement that defines our method of obedience. I want you to read this carefully…

“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”

So, what’s the first part of obeying Jesus? Right, we are to abide in His love…just as Jesus abided in His Father’s love.

I’ve said this in other posts, “abide” simply means to stay where you’ve been put. And where have you been put? That’s right, seated in heavenly places IN Christ (Eph.2:6; Col.3:3).

And as I said in “Do you know where is your mansion is?,” we are to abide in this abode–this dwelling place in God via the Holy Spirit.

This is Jesus’ answer to “What would Jesus do?”

Next, let’s skip down to verse 12. We see that we are to love one another just like Jesus loved us.

Again, how much does Jesus love us? The same as the Father loves Him.

So, how in God’s creation can we possibly love others the same way God loves us? (Which is, infinitely, by the way!)

Well, the answer is back in verse 9. We love others with God’s love. And we can only do this by first receiving God’s love (1 John 4:19). I talked about this in my post, “Everything with God starts by receiving.” You can go there for further explanation.

One more thing here. God’s infinite love is not conditional. For everything starts with God’s love for us, even when we didn’t want Him (Rom.5:8-10).

Abiding1So, let’s put this together using my graphic. I’ve used this in other posts because it illustrates our relationship with God and others so beautifully.

Imagine God’s love being the water, representing an endless ocean that has no shores or limits. The faucet represents your heart.

So, how do we receive God’s endless supply of love? Right, we open our hearts (faucet) and let the love begin to flow into our hearts.

But I want you to look at another thing here. Where does the faucet flow into? Yes, this faucet of our heart pours God’s love back to God! Do you see that? A couple of points here…

Whose love is this again? Yes, God’s love. It’s not some performance trip on our part.

Can this love supply ever run dry? In a word, no.

We receive God’s love by opening our heart, it flows through us, overflowing out of us, and back to God. Get it?

This is what “abiding” looks like.

But it doesn’t end there. Now, I want you to imagine someone else coming into contact with you. Imagine them being where the word, “Abiding” is.

What would this other person experience?

Right, They would be caught up in this endless overflowing love of God cycle between God’s ocean and your open faucet!

Do you see this?

I submit to you, this is how we obey Jesus. In fact. isn’t this what Jesus said is the greatest of all commandments, to which all others are subsumed? (Matt.22:37-40). Paul tried to tell the legalistic Galatians the same thing (Gal.5:14).

One last thing….Why does Jesus want us to obey Him?

Because if we don’t He’ll punish us?

Because He’s God and we’re not?

Because that’s how you prove He’s Lord?

NO! NO!! NO!!!

Because He wants HIS joy to always be in you, so that your joy would be FULL! Now, go back to verse 11…

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

Jesus wants you to be filled with HIS joy. Sort of like being filled with ALL the fullness that fills God! (Eph.3:19). And just how “full” is that? Ha!

This is what obeying Jesus looks like.

Endless love, fullness of joy…which means true freedom (2 Cor.3:17).

And I submit to you, if you’re not experiencing these things then you be better take another look at how you define obedience.

Jesus is sending you the same way His Father sent Him (John 20:21). Now, go do what Jesus actually did….

En-joy… 🙂


About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 42 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
This entry was posted in John 14-17, Love and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Obeying Jesus’ commandments

  1. TK says:

    I wish I could contribute something to this, but you hit the nail on the head. I’ve often thought of Love/God in a similar way. We all have the Love of God and are called to give it away. As soon as we do, we are filled again with God’s endless Love. Throughout our lives, then, we experience a whole lot of love. In comparison, a person who has been equally given the Love of God but never gives it away only experiences the love they carry. If they never give it away, they are never filled with more. It feels very similar to your faucet analogy.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I think you’ve made a great contribution here, TK. 🙂 It is important to give it away to get more. When people you meet encounter God’s love through you, they instinctively want to return it. That’s the grace of God at work between two people. Now, imagine a room full of people gathered together, overflowing and cycling God’s love this way with each other. Exponential love and grace! That’s an explosion! I think that’s what Jesus had in mind.
      Thanks for your insights, as always. Blessings.

  2. Michael says:

    Loving God back with the love he has shown us–it’s so rich! I want to stay put right there. It’s why I can embrace people, any kind of people; it forces me to remove walls and qualifications for others. I love God and abide in him and can only love others with God’s love. And that impels me to look for those who need his love…to search for ways to be Christ to others. You always provoke me, Mel. Thanks.

  3. I really think those WWJD bracelets are a bit dumb. Jesus would do what His Father is doing. Always. This is a crackin’ article btw. Loved it. This is a much better view on obedience that the ‘white knuckle club.’ Good stuff, Mel.

    I find it interesting in John 14 he says: ‘if you love me, then you’ll obey me.’ To me love comes first, and then obedience. Then from our continued obedience, we abide in His love, and bear much fruit.

    To me, love comes first, and then obedience. The church tries it the other way around. We try to obey first and then love. It’s actually impossible imho. You cannot obey Him without loving Him. And you cannot love Him, without experiencing Him loving you. More than just knowing that He loves you. Even demons know that. Actually, knowing Father loving you.

    Father is awesome.

    Grace to you my brother, you need to put all this in a book.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Crackin’ good…wow! Thanks, bro! 🙂
      You’ve got it spot-on about John 14. Jesus was making a promise here. He said that when we receive His love we will joyfully obey. Conversely, 1 John 2:15 says that it’s evident that we haven’t received the love of the Father when we still love the things of the world more. We’re still thinking like orphans, even though we may be saved. I’ve looked at this for years now, experienced it, and there really isn’t anything else you can add to this. This is the whole of all theology and the very heart and soul of true Christianity. Everything else flows from this union with Christ.
      Your comments are much appreciated, as always. I’m actually working on a book, btw. I have no idea how it will turn out (might need to be more than one) but it will be centered around these things, and centered how this paradigm shift changed my whole view of others, and the quality of my life in Christ. It’s REALLY good news! Blessings.

  4. nixolivier says:

    Recently I had an experience where the Father showed me what I was believing about obedience……for the past few years He has been opening my eyes and showing me how He loves me. I am at the point when I am asking: Lord, how do I love others how You have loved me? And you have answered it here……..now I wait patiently as I know He will unfold this new truth in my life: by simply abiding in Him love grows in me and I can share it with others. I want to share a post I wrote on my experience. http://ourjourneyinhim.blogspot.com/2014/04/obedience-is-not-requirementits-response.html {On a side note: the funniest thing happened while I was typing this. My little boy asked me to do something for him. I said I would do it as soon as I’d finished typing. SO he says: Mommy, the most important thing is love. So you need to love me! I knew this meant that he wanted me to take my eyes off the computer and help him…….so i got up and did as he asked before i finished typing. Thank you Mommy, I love you was my reward!!} 😉

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks for sharing this. I will read your post on your experience. It sounds like you’re in a good place. Receiving God’s love inherently changes how we see others. It’s inevitable. Our heart softens and our perspective shifts. We start to truly love and it’s awesome. All the fear and our need to judge or compete goes away. Your experience with your little boy puts it all into perspective. It’s about love and relationship more than anything we try to accomplish. I had an vivid encounter with Papa God one time where I had the sense of Him looking at me and smiling, then He told me, “You can jump in my lap anytime…day or night” and it totally wrecked me. My worship has never been the same since. All I can say now is that I jump in His lap a LOT! 🙂 Blessings to you and your family.

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  6. Sign me up for a copy of your book!

    We’re being walked through the lesson of learning to abide right now. There is no “right” way or “wrong” way to get through each day. ‘Religion’ would be of zero help at the moment. Instead I pause at some point most days to thank the Lord for His love, for knowing where I am, and for giving me all I need to get through the day graciously.

    Now THAT’s freedom! The joy that accompanies this fresh reminder can’t be described.

    Thanks for sharing what is one of the most important necessities for a victorious life…abiding in Him. Obedience and love flow naturally as a result.

    You write some fantastic stuff. May these words sink deep into the hearts of all who read!


    • Mel Wild says:

      Ha..thanks. Got to get it written first. 🙂 But processing my thoughts here and getting great feedback like yours really helps.

      Yes, this is actually doing what Jesus did! Not all that other silly stuff, trying to imitate His moral behavior. What He did is abide in His Father, and we’re to do exactly the same thing. And when we do, we get the same results. This is what Jesus said in John 14-15. It couldn’t be any simpler. And the by-product is fullness of joy and all the other fruits of the Spirit. How can you go wrong!

      Your comments appreciated, as always. Blessings.

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