If You Love Me

John 14:15, 21, 23-24 NASB (Jesus speaking)

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.”

John continued this theme a little further when he wrote 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John. There he stated that the way we know that we have come to know Jesus is if, in fact, we make it our practice to keep his commandments. If we claim to know him, but we do not make it our practice to keep his commands, he said, then we are liars (See: 1 Jn. 2:3-6).

And, he also said that those who obey his commands live in Christ, and he in them. He said that if we claim to have fellowship with God, but we walk (live, conduct our lives) in darkness (sin, wickedness), then, again, we are liars. And, too, if we do not practice righteousness, then we are not of God (See: 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Jn. 2:15, 24-25; 1 Jn. 3:10, 24).

And, he went into even more depth on this subject in John 15 when he said that if we keep his commands we will remain in his love. He said, too, that we are his friends if we keep his commands.

And, there he also talked about the importance of remaining in him, and that if we don’t remain (endure, persist, persevere) in him, and if we don’t bear spiritual fruit (results) for the kingdom of heaven, he will cut us off from himself (the true vine), and we will be thrown into the fire and burned (See: John 15:1-17; cf. Rom. 11:17-24).

Paul, as well, continued this same theme when he said that the righteous requirement of the law will be fully met in us who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For, he said, if we walk (live in lifestyle) according to our sinful flesh, we will die in our sins. But, if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live for eternity (Rom. 8:1-17; cf. Lu. 9:23-25).

Now, these are not my words. This is what the Bible teaches. Loving God/Jesus means that we make it our practice to obey his teachings, which are his instructions to us for godly living. And, if we love him, by keeping his teachings, then we will be loved by God, and the Father and the Son will make their abode with us.

In fact, this is the sign to us that we truly know Jesus, that we are those who practice obedience and his righteousness. And, practicing righteousness means, too, that we are not those who make sin our practice, our lifestyle, i.e. the way in which we conduct our daily lives. For, if we practice sin, we don’t have the hope of eternal life with God or heaven as our eternal destiny. Instead, we have the promise of eternal punishment in the fires of hell (See also: Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Eph. 5:3-6).

So, we must take this seriously, and we must stop believing what many humans are teaching with regard to our salvation. For, the vast majority, at least here in America, are not teaching what these verses teach. But, they are teaching a diluted gospel absent of the necessity of repentance and obedience to Christ and to his Word.

Also, what many people are teaching is that our salvation is based off a singular experience we had in which we claimed to have faith in Jesus Christ. But, that is also not what the Bible teaches. Yes, there is a point in which we believe and we enter into relationship with Jesus Christ, but that must continue, and it must become our lifestyle, and we must no longer live as we did before we met Jesus.

For, all throughout the New Testament, if we read verse by verse and chapter by chapter and book by book, in context, we learn that our salvation is progressive, i.e. we are saved (past), we are being saved (present) and we will be saved (future) when Jesus’ returns for us, his bride. Then, our salvation will be complete.

And, we learn, too, that being born again, and having a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ is proved true by our lifestyles, by how we walk day in and day out, and not by some singular experience in our lives.

John 14:25-26 NASB

“These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”

When we are truly in Christ Jesus, and he is in us, by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, then the Holy Spirit comes to live within us. And, he teaches us all things in relation to Christ and our salvation and holiness and godly living. But, we have to remain in Christ, and abide in him and in his Words so that we hear the Holy Spirit speaking God’s words to our hearts. And, then we have to walk in obedience to what he teaches us.

John 14:27 NASB

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

Jesus doesn’t give the kind of peace that the world craves or promotes. What the world wants is absence of conflict, and for everyone to get along, and for the people of the whole world, regardless of religious belief or lifestyle preference, to join hands and hearts together in singing “Kumbaya” in perfect harmony, one with the other.

But, Jesus said that he didn’t come to bring peace (the kind the world craves), but a sword, and to turn family members one against another. Now, that doesn’t sound like the Jesus we know, does it? But, he isn’t promoting anarchy, and he isn’t promoting hate, either (See: Matt. 10:34-39).

What he is saying is that if we truly follow Jesus Christ with our lives, the way in which he requires, and if we have left everything of this world behind to walk in obedience to his commands, then we are not going to be in harmony with people who don’t have that kind of relationship with Christ Jesus. And, so we will have to make a choice either to follow Jesus or to live to please other humans, for we can’t do both.

What he is also saying here is that when we truly follow him, and we have separated ourselves from the things of this world – from the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, etc. – and when we are walking in his holiness and righteous, living lives pleasing to him, we will be hated by those who don’t live like that, and so we need to be prepared for that eventuality. And, we need to be ready to stand on the Word of truth so we don’t cave to the pressures of the world to compromise with the world, to be liked by others.

For, he says, that if we love our family members, or anyone, really, more than him, then we are not worthy of him; we are not worthy to be called his disciples. And, he continued by saying that if we don’t take up our cross (daily – Lu. 9:23-25) and follow (obey) him, we are not worthy of him, to be considered one of his.

And, here is the clincher: He concluded these thoughts by saying that if we cling to our own lives, we will lose them for eternity. But, if we lose (give up) our lives (die to sin and self) for his sake, then we will find our lives, our purpose, our fulfillment and eternal life with God.

Many people throughout the world, who have trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of their lives, are being put to the test in this area right now. They are having to choose total abandonment to Jesus Christ, with no compromise with the world of sin, with the full knowledge that it will lead to their physical death or torture or some kind of serious persecution because they were not willing to unite with the world and the devil.

Or, they have to choose denying their Lord and rejecting their salvation in favor of compromise with the world so that it will not cost them their lives, or so they think. But, it will cost them their lives for eternity.

In America, though Christian persecution definitely exists here, even within the institutional church, it has not yet reached the level of severity that it has across the rest of the world. But, we are not going to be spared this just because we are Americans. So, we need to make that choice now, because when this does come to our nation, if we are not already standing on the Word of truth, we will most certainly be more susceptible to cave to pressure to conform and to unite with the world to save our own necks.

So, just know that, although people will try to convince you that Jesus was a man of peace (the kind the world gives), and so they will try to talk you into uniting with them in order to maintain peace, that kind of peace is not what Jesus is offering. The kind he offers is peace with God in our hearts, and freedom from our slavery to sin, and unity with him and his righteousness.

So, don’t follow the gods of this world, and don’t compromise your faith, but follow Jesus Christ in obedience, even if it does cost you your life in this world, for your life will be saved for eternity. And, that is what matters.

Living Water

An Original Work / November 21, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures

My people have forsaken Me,
Their Savior, who died on a tree;
Made idols, and they worshipped them;
So empty, they will ne’er fulfill.

Lord, You are the hope of Your chosen ones.
Those who turn away from You will be shamed;
The Spring of Living Water left behind.

Living Water satisfies.

The thirsty, let them come and drink;
Believe in Jesus as their King;
The gift of Jesus given them,
So they will never thirst again.

Indeed, the Living Water flows within.
It springs up like a fountain cleansing sin.
Eternal life in heaven promised them.

Living Water glorifies.

Oh people, won’t you come to Him?
Obey Him and repent of sin.
Let Jesus come and live within.
Surrender all your life to Him.

My people, won’t you turn your hearts to Me?
Forsake your idols and then you’ll be free.
Won’t you come now to Me on bended knee?

Living Water sanctifies.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

15 thoughts on “If You Love Me

      • These scriptures are not calling us to absolute perfection. The key word in all of them is “practice.” They have to do with how we walk, i.e. how we live our lives. Do we practice lawlessness or holiness? Do we live to please the flesh or the Spirit? Are our hearts yielded to Jesus Christ, or are we stubbornly clinging to our idols? So, why did Jesus die? He died to put sin to death in our lives so that we could walk in his righteousness, but we can only do this in his power and strength.

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      • Unfortunately we all cling to idols. You have them, as do I. I’m simply questioning the writings you have. No amount of works will do anything for us in sight of our Lord. Christ did this for us. Reverence, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness…etc. (Gal. 5) now is the way of the Spirit our flesh has inherited IN HIM. We lack without Him. May we walk in Him, and allow our flesh to never believe that WE can be righteous apart from HIS work in us. Perhaps I misinterpret your writings? Blessings.

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      • To reiterate your previous comment, yes, the Scriptures are calling us to be perfect. Christ shows us that we are not, so He, alone, took it upon Himself to make us righteous in the eye of our Father. Praise Him!! Something we will never be capable of. That’s the gospel. May we put away our righteous pride and glorify His!

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      • Damon, these scriptures were written, not to call us to absolute sinless perfection, for not one of us can be perfect, which is why Jesus died on the cross for our sins, but to call us into fellowship with Jesus Christ and to walks of faith in him, by his grace and in his power at work within us. And, they were written, too, as a reminder to all who profess the name of Jesus as to what that means to believe in him and to be one of his followers, and to warn, too, of the consequences if we do not follow him in obedience via yielding the control of our lives over to the Lordship of Christ.

        But, he didn’t die just to forgive (cover) our sins so that we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we should no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. So, this is not works-based salvation, for he paid the price so we could be free, but not free from having to obey him, and not free from having to walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. His salvation to us is not free license to continue to practice sin, still bound in slavery to sin. But, it is freedom from the power and control of sin over our lives so that we can live holy lives, pleasing to him.

        Jn. 8:31-32: So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

        Jn. 14:15, 21, 23-24: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

        “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.”

        Jn. 15:10: “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.”

        Rom. 8:3-14: “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

        “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

        “So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

        Romans 6:16: “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Read whole chapter)

        Romans 11:17-24: “If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

        “Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!”

        I Co 15:2: “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”

        Gal. 5:19-21: “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

        Galatians 6:7-8: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

        Eph. 5:3-6: But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

        Col. 1:21-23: And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.”

        II Tim 2:10-13: “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
        Here is a trustworthy saying:
        If we died with him,
        we will also live with him;

        If we endure,
        we will also reign with him.
        If we disown him,
        he will also disown us;

        If we are faithless,
        he will remain faithful,
        for he cannot disown himself.”

        II Peter 1:5-11: “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

        Hebrews 3:6, 14-15: “… And we are his house, IF we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast… We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. As has just been said:
        “Today, if you hear his voice,
        do not harden your hearts
        as you did in the rebellion.”

        Hebrews 5:9: “…and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”

        1 Jn. 1:5-9: “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

        1 John 2:3-6: “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”

        1 Jn. 2:15: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

        I John 2:24-25: “See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us—even eternal life.”

        1 Jn. 3:10: “By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”

        1 John 3:24: “Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”

        1 Jn. 4:19-20: “We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.’”

        Tit. 2:11-14: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”

        1 Pet. 2:24: “And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”

        John 10:27-30: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

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  1. The Lord began His salvation in me in one night when I was 10 years old. He has been working His salvation in me ever since. All I am in truth is by Him, all I am becoming is by Him. As Paul said I have not yet attained. He also told us the work God began in us He will complete. Day by day and moment by moment the old man is conquered.
    I do hope you enjoy the blessings of the Lord in 2019.

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