A Promise for You
If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
When you read this statement by itself it sounds like one coming from a threatening parent. “If you want to live in this house, you WILL abide by my rules.” It can contribute to this idea that God is like an angry parent, ready to bring the hammer down on us when we don’t obey. It’s this reminder that I’m not good enough for God to love me.
But this is not the God of the Bible. God loves you when you’re at your worst, in the midst of your failure. Jesus came to save sinners. He came to the sick, not the healthy. He spent his time with sinners and tax collectors, much to the dismay of the religious leaders of his day. God loves you as you are, without condition or qualification. This is what the bible teaches.
When Jesus said these words, he wasn’t saying it to intimidate or threaten his disciples into obedience. He says this to comfort and encourage them. Comfort and encouragement is something that we all need, and obedience, as we will see, plays an important part in that.