(Jesus said:) “They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. “I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.
Yesterday, we looked at the things that determine a REAL believer, as opposed to somebody who pays only lip service to Christ, and the defining characteristic of the REAL believer, or the true believer, is love. Our words, our praises, our songs, even mighty things we might do for Christ or our great sacrifices, count for nothing without love. Paul states this unequivocally in his first letter to the Corinthians.
He writes: If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
So you see the importance of love to the Christian believer. Anything we do, without love, counts for nothing. But love, itself, without obedience, counts for nothing. Our Lord puts it very clearly in today’s reading: those who love me will keep my word; those who don’t won’t. Elsewhere he said, “If you love me, you WILL keep my commandments” (John 14:15). That’s it. That’s the bottom line.
Jesus asked Peter three times: Do you love me? And each time Peter answered that he did, Jesus told him to do something (see John 21:15-17). Love demands a response. And this is best seen through the love we show for each other. John says: “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen” (1 John 4:20).
And, when we do this — now please listen to this because it is really important — when we do this, Jesus reveals himself to us. Listen to what he says once again: “They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” If you really want to see God; this is the only way.
We looked at a lot of Scripture today, but there are mighty truths contained in all of them, so please mark each and every one in your Bibles. And share your thoughts with others wherever you watch this or read this. This is how you will gain practice in spreading the good news, otherwise you will always be a receiver; never a giver. And what’s the point of that?