“As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you; continue in My Love. If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in my love—even as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His Love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full.”
When the reason for our service is the pleasure of His smile, we need never wonder what our motive is.
Love and obedience.
The two always go hand-in-hand. Although none of us can really “know our heart—for it’s incredibly deceitful and wicked” (Jer. 17:9)—we can still do our best to consciously commit in consecration every part of our lives to Christ in all we say and do.
How heartbreaking it is for a parent to try and raise a child who’s stubborn and rebellious. At first he tries coaxing or “sweet-talking” the little tyke into obeying. Then, he tries a sterner approach with “commands and consequences.” If that doesn’t work, then forced compliance (e.g., corporal punishment, depriving of privileges, etc.) kicks in—and the child’s only two-years-old! How much greater the heartache when the child’s 46-years-old and still incorrigible!!
Today’s Manna moves into a deeper dimension because of its spiritual nature. The Lord Jesus described the relationship He had/has with the Father and how we, too, can enjoy that sweet communion with Him.
In simple words, He said the key is to “continue in My Love.” The Greek verb “meno” is used here for “continue” and basically means “to abide in, to stay in place, dwell, etc.” Thus, it’s the picture of a day-by-day—yea, moment-by-moment—“communion-union” with Him and the Heavenly Father.
And, the motive for doing this?
He went on to say how we can know if we’re experiencing this: “By keeping (Grk. ‘tereo’—‘to guard, prevent from escaping, stand watch over, etc.’) His commandments.” Now, we know that none of us can keep them fully; in fact, it’s impossible because of our sinful natures. However, the Heavenly Father looks at our “want to,” not our actual “to do list,” and sees if the reason we’re doing what we do is out of loving obedience or a sense of “have to” (Heb. 4:12). And, that’s what’s important to Him—not how much we’re doing in His Name.
One of the “fringe benefits” of loving service is His “fullness of joy.” Oh how sweet the fellowship and how “light the load” (Mt. 11:28-30) when we’re serving Him because we love Him. Delight replaces drudgery. Contentment replaces compulsion. Wonder replaces weariness. No longer do we feel like Elijah, who felt he was the only one doing God’s work (I Kings 19:1ff); instead, we remember Who’s walking/working with us (I Cor. 3:9) and rejoice for the privilege of serving the King of kings and Lord of lords. Hallelujah!! Why not pause right now and tell Him how much you love Him?
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated June 29, 2009