I Love You.
By Carlton Foster – June 18, 2022
I believe that obedience is the highest form of the demonstration of love. Your actions show love when you are obedient to a command or request. Also, when a person obeys you, you feel assured that the person loves you. Obedience is the act or practice of following instructions, complying with rules or regulations, or submitting to somebody’s authority (Encarta Dictionary).
We say we love Jesus, but Jesus responds and says, “If you love me, obey my commandments (John 14:15 NLT).” Your spouse says they love you, but you reply, “if you love me, you will obey my instructions and requests.” The Apostle Paul said in Romans 16:19, “But everyone knows that you are obedient to the Lord. This makes me very happy. I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong.” Happiness increases when obedience is practiced more and more. Retribution diminishes to the obedient ones. The Bible said, “On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child (Malachi 3:17 NLT).
Parents love to spare the wrongdoing of their children, especially those who are more obedient. Jesus (when he was a child) was obedient to his parents on returning from Jerusalem: “Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart (Luke 2:51).” I loved Paul’s counsel in 1 Peter 1:13-15 (NLT), “So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.”
Paul alluded that “satisfying our selfish desires” can lead to disobedience, a refusal, or failure to obey (Encarta Dictionary). He said, “You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the Devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God (Ephesians 2:2 NLT).” When we disobey God, we are instead obeying the Devil. Remember that the highest form of love is the demonstration of obedience. If you follow the Devil, it shows that you love him. Jesus confirms this in Matthew 6:24 NLT, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”
Moses told the Children of Israel, “But if you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and if you do not obey all the commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you (Deuteronomy 28:15 NLT).” In Hebrews 2:2, the author confirmed the effect of disobeying God: “For the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished.” He also stated, “Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered ” (Hebrew 5:8 NLT)”.
In summary, we must also learn to be more obedient. We must obey God; be more obedient to our spouse; children must obey their parents; we must obey the (just) laws of our government; we must obey those in authority over us. We must live as God’s obedient children. Obedience is the highest form of the demonstration of love.