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Loving Obedience

Today's Devotional

Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. John 14:21 nlt

During our wedding ceremony, our minister said to me, “Do you promise to love, honor, and obey your husband, until death do you part?” Glancing at my fiancé, I whispered, “Obey?” We’d built our relationship on love and respect—not blind obedience, as the vows seemed to suggest. My husband’s father captured on film that wide-eyed moment when I processed the word obey and said, “I do.”

Over the years, God has shown me that my resistance to the word obey had nothing to do with the incredibly complex relationship between a husband and wife. I’d understood obey to mean “subjugated” or “forced submission,” which Scripture doesn’t support. Rather, the word obey in the Bible expresses the many ways we can love God. As my husband and I celebrate thirty years of marriage, through the power of the Holy Spirit we’re still learning to love Jesus and each other.

When Jesus said, “If you love me, obey my commandments” (John 14:15 nlt), He showed us that obedience to the Scriptures would be the result of an ongoing loving and intimate relationship with Him (vv. 16-21).

Jesus’ love is selfless, unconditional, and never forceful or abusive. As we follow and honor Him in all our relationships, the Holy Spirit can help us see obedience to Him as a wise and loving act of trust and worship.

How does seeing obedience to God as an act of love and trust change your view of His desire for obedience? How has God proven that you can trust Him?

Dear Jesus, please help me love You and others through obedience to the Scriptures.


John 13-17, known as the Upper Room Discourse, is theologically rich, contributing to our understanding of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. An example of this is seen in John 14:16-17 where Jesus, the Son, says, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.” Of note in this discourse is the teaching about the Holy Spirit (pneumatology). In verse 16, He’s referred to as “another advocate” (paraklētos). Other versions translate this word as “comforter.” What’s in view is someone who’s called to aid, assist, or help another. During Christ’s ministry on earth, He was the helper from heaven. In His absence, one just like Him, the Spirit, would function in that capacity. Because of this, Jesus could tell His followers, “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (vv. 1, 27).

By |2024-05-06T02:33:15-04:00May 6th, 2024|
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