Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, because I came from God and I am here. For I didn’t come on My own, but He sent Me. Why don’t you understand what I say? Because you cannot listen to My word. You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Who among you can convict Me of sin? If I tell the truth, why don’t you believe Me? The one who is from God listens to God’s words. This is why you don’t listen, because you are not from God.” Â Â John 8:42-47 (HCSB)
John 8 begins with Jesus going to the Temple to teach. They bring Him the woman they caught in adultery. (And we think that our trial system is flawed!) Stop a minute and go back to read the passage above again. Think about coming into church this week, Jesus steps into the pulpit, and this is what He says as His eyes make contact with each one of us. Not a feel good sermon, is it? Did any of His truth-arrows hit home?
Jesus says that if I love Him, I will obey Him (John 14). It is simple, isn’t it?
If I do not obey Jesus, then I am obeying satan. That is simple also. It is not what I want to hear, however. I want there to be an Option C. This is the option where I get to do what I want to do once in awhile. It doesn’t work that way with God. If I do not obey God then by default I am obeying the enemy. Satan is a murderer. He kills the ‘good’ inside of me because he cannot live or dwell in the same space with what is of God. Paul makes a clear statement in his letter to the Galatians (chapter 5) about what is from God and what is a ‘gift’ from satan. The fruit that comes from God has a distinctive taste, doesn’t it? The fruit from satan has a distinctive stench also. The question is: Am I willing to invite the Holy Spirit to shine His light on the fruit in my life and cut out any rotting, stinking fruit so that more sweet, fresh fruit may grow?
Jesus warns me to listen to His words. It very easy for me to get around that statement. I just won’t listen or read His words! I’ll let my Bible look good on my desk and gather dust because I never crack it open. I’ll rely totally on my pastor or Sunday School teacher to spoon feed me what they have learned, what they believe and not put forth any effort of my own.
It’s summer. It’s vacation time for many. Good thing God doesn’t take a vacation from my life! God doesn’t sleep. He doesn’t tell me that he’s taking two weeks or two months off and He’ll see me again in August! And why is that? Because He loves me! He’s my father and dads do not take vacations from being a father. He’s always there. And He wants me to always be there with Him.
So what is my decision today: Will I obey God’s commands? Or not.