It just got harder to be a Christian in our country this week. Perhaps you’ve heard by now that the Georgia governor vetoed a bill yesterday that would protect the clergy in his state from having to marry people who do not ascribe to what they (the clergy) believes to be orthodox, biblical teaching on marriage. In essence, the governor has indicated that the clergy in Georgia can not call sin, “sin” any longer when it comes to sexual deviancy (as described in Scripture in Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, etc.).
Apparently in our culture it’s okay to love anyone you want to unless you are a Christian who loves Jesus and His commands. Jesus is the Word who became flesh and dwelled among us. Therefore, when I love Jesus, I love His Word. And to love His Word means that I must obey it. Problem is: the commands of Scripture are now completely out of vogue today. I spoke of this in today’s Two-Minute Tuesday.
It’s been a while since I’ve shared here about the work we do each day at my devotion website. It just so happens that where we’re at in John 15 speaks to where we are today. That’s amazing if you ask me. By the way, if you aren’t getting our Daily Devotions, I want to make you aware of them. Here’s the link: https://dkevinbrowndailydevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/you-are-my-friends-if-you-do-what-i-command-you/
You can sign-up to get these devotions delivered to your email inbox by going here: http://mpbc.ws/emailsubscriptions/
Here is today’s devotion:
You Are My Friends, If You Do What I Command You
Jesus made one of the most fantastic and radical statements of all time when He said: “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” That was radical for a Rabbi to say. Most Rabbis taught the Talmud, (the central text of Rabbinic Judaism), and said, “Do what the Talmud says.” But, Jesus said, “Do what I tell you.” That was beyond anything anyone had ever heard from a Rabbi in Jesus’ day.
What did Jesus want us to do? Here ya go…
12 This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Now does this mean that we are to “love” everybody in the exact way they are living? Does this mean that we love each and every lifestyle no matter how unbiblical that lifestyle might be? Does this mean that we negate the sin in the life of people of and look past that sin? Does this mean that Jesus’ eventual death on the cross wasn’t powerful enough to help every area of sin in a human’s life? Did His blood only cover some sin?
You see in our culture today it’s no longer appropriate to call anything sin. It’s no longer appropriate to call any lifestyle that’s anti-biblical sinful. In fact, in our politically correct, “anything goes” culture, you really can’t call any lifestyle sinful. In fact, nothing is sinful any longer. And people have taken the above verse and said, “But, we must LOVE one another because that’s how Jesus lived. He just loved, loved, loved.”
Yes, He did love! But folks, He also died!!! He died for sin! He was crucified on a cross “while we were yet sinners!” He died to set us free from sin! That’s love folks! That’s love! Let me show you love. Jesus said:
13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:13-15
Jesus said, “You are my FRIENDS, if you do what I command you.” What did Jesus do? He lived a perfect, sinless life! He never sinned! But, today we condone almost all sin. Jesus doesn’t want to call us servants, because a servant doesn’t know what the master is doing. He wants to call us friends. But, to call us friends, we must do what the Master is doing. And if we are to do what the Master is doing, then we must call Him (Jesus): MASTER! Do you see? We must surrender our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ! We must call Him: “MASTER.”
That’s where the rub comes in dear friend! People don’t want a “master” over their lives. No! They want to be the master of their lives and they want God to approve of their lives. They’ve made God the servant, and they’ve become the master. Yet, Jesus chose us, not the other way around…
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another. John 15:16-17
Do you see it? Jesus chose us to go “bear fruit.” What does that mean? That means to live in a dark, lost and dying world like He did. We are to live in such a way that we show our good deeds before men. We were created for good works, “fruit.” No, Jesus didn’t die on the cross to leave us in our sin. He died on the cross so that we might confess and repent of our sins and be delivered from the power of sin over our lives. Do you see that? You must see that to understand what Jesus actually did in coming to save sinners!
You and I must not be blinded by the politically correct narrative being espoused by the world. We are to bear fruit for Jesus and if we’ll do that, then we will truly show that we love Him by how we love one another. We will love people enough to tell them that they are sinners, (like we are), who need a Savior, so that the love of that Savior might deliver them into freedom from sin! That is true love! And that’s “doing” what Jesus commanded.