“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46).
While attending Bayside Church’s Thrive Conference this past week, I had the privilege of hearing some incredible Christian preachers and teachers. One was Bob Goff, lawyer, speaker, and author of the New York Times bestseller Love Does.
I could have listened to this man for hours on end. Though humorous and very easy to listen to, he hit us with one-liners that were as keen and sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel. Here’s one that cut me to the quick and reminded me of the Savior’s words quoted above from Luke. Bob said, “Stop agreeing with Jesus and do what He says.”
In His upper room discourse on the night of His Last Supper, Jesus spoke the following words to His disciples, “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). A few minutes later He also said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who love Me” (John 14:21). The bottom line is this, obedience to Jesus commands is the ultimate proof of one’s love for Him.
Notice that He did not say that church attendance, Bible reading, praying, tithing, gifts of charity, and the like, are the proofs that we love Him, Obeying Him is the proof that we love Him. Now granted, obeying Him will probably lead to the doing of the things that I have listed.
As a pastor of 45 years, countless have been the times that individuals have professed to me their great love for Jesus, but in one area or another refuse to obey His commands. And whenever I brought up the inconsistency between their words and their actions, I was labeled as judgmental and graceless.
Being saved by grace is never a license to sin. In fact, when the enormity of God’s grace to the sinner breaks upon one’s heart, it will no longer be, “How much can I get away with and still be saved?” It will be, “Lord, through your shed blood, by your guiding word, and the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, teach me to walk as far away from sin as is possible.”
In I John 3:6, the writer said, that if one makes a claim to faith and continues to practice willful disobedience, they have never seen Jesus, they have never known Jesus. The apostle then goes on to say, “No one who is born of God practices sin” (I John 3:9).
So, Bob Goff’s simple statement is also a very profound one, a very true one, deeply rooted in scripture, “Stop agreeing with Jesus and do what He says.”
Lord Jesus, may the deepest demonstration of my love for You, be my willful and joyful obedience to Your commandments.