I once saw a show on how police dogs were trained. It followed the training of a German Shepherd to assist the police in taking out armed men in a hostile shooting situation. The dog went through extensive exercises at the training facility, but eventually the day came when it would have its final test before entering into service. They put on a staged simulation of several armed men holed up in a house. The men were shooting out of windows and shouting. The narrator pointed out that some dogs cannot take the chaos of a live scenario. The trainer sent in his dog. As it entered the house it encountered lots of people in motions, guns going off, and people shouting and screaming. The trainer shouted out commands to the dog from outside the house. In minutes the dog had taken down the gunman and the test was over. The proud trainer smiled and proudly proclaimed, “I knew he would succeed. He knows his master’s voice and obeys it.” Now consider Jesus’ statement in John 14:31 (ESV). “I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.”
In this verse, Jesus links obedience with love. Because of His love for the Father, Jesus obeyed all that the Father commanded Him. Even when things seemed chaotic as He was put on trial, beaten, and whipped. Even when His obedience resulted in His crucifixion, Jesus did as His Father directed (Mark 14:36). Jesus knew the Father loved Him and was working all this things for good (Rom. 8:28). Jesus knew the Father’s love and reciprocated that love by His obedience. How then, can I show my love for God? How can put my love for Jesus on display so that others will know that I love Him? Look at John 15:9–10 (ESV).
“Abide in my love. 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… You are my friends if you do what I command you.”
Obedience is again linked with love. One cannot love Jesus and persistently continue in sinful disobedience: He is the believer’s Master (Lord). Many claim to love Christ, but when life gets tough, or obedience is difficult, they choose disobedience. Unlike that police dog, they hear but do not obey. To them Jesus questions: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46, ESV)
Your love for God is displayed to others by your obedience to Christ even in the midst of what may seem to you as chaos.
Further reading: Luke 6:46-49; John 13:34-35; James 5:19-20; 1Peter 4:8
David Harris is the Senior Pastor at Faith Baptist Church. A former programmer, in his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife Kim and trying his hand at the illusive craft of smoking meat.