By Luis Palau, The Only Hope for America, p. 153-4, 1996
Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15). At first glance, his statement seems out of place. Unlike the preceding three verses, this one isn’t a promise. Or is it?
The context of this passage gives us a clue. In verse 21 we read, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” In other words, we experience God’s love when we obey His commands. That’s a promise worth remembering.
The value of doing what we’ve been told– for our own good— was illustrated vividly for me in early 1983 when more than 90 people conducted an all night search for an eight year old boy named Dominic. While on a skiing trip with his father, this little boy apparently had ridden a new lift and skied off the run without realizing it. They hoped to find Dominic somewhere on the snowy mountain slope before it was too late.
As each hour passed, the search party and the boy’s family became more and more concerned. By dawn, they still had found no trace of him. Two helicopters joined the search, and within fifteen minutes they spotted ski tracks. A ground team followed the tracks, which changed to small footprints. The footprints led to a tree where they found the boy at last.
“He’s in super shape,” the rescue coordinator announced to the anxious family and press, adding, “In fact, he’s in better shape than we are right now. ” A hospital spokesman said the boy was in fine condition and wasn’t even admitted.
Officials explained why the boy did so well despite spending a night in freezing elements. His father had enough forethought to tell the boy what to do if he became lost, and his son had enough trust to do exactly what his father said. Dominic protected himself from frostbite and hypothermia by snuggling up to a tree and covering himself with branches. As a young child he never would have thought of doing this on his own. He was simply obeying his wise and loving father.
Dominic reminds me of what we should do as children of our loving and wise heavenly Father. We are not to walk according to the course of this world that is passing away. Instead, we are to walk in obedience to the Lord’s commands. After all, He knows what is best for us.
John 14:15 — Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”
John 14:21 Jesus said, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
I Peter 1:13-16 — Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
O Almighty Lord and everlasting God, we beseech thee to direct, sanctify, and govern, both our hearts and bodies, in the ways of thy laws, and in the works of thy commandments; that through thy most mighty protection, both here and forever, we may be preserved in body and soul, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
—Book of Common Prayer