If you love Me, obey My commandments. John 14:15
When we think about applying Scripture, one principle that must be kept in mind is that there is no application without action. It can be tempting to observe and interpret Scripture yet fail to move toward action. When we fail to act, we miss the mark of actually engaging in application. Because of this, when we think about application, we must move forward with specific, measurable, and attainable action steps.
Jesus called His followers to action in John 14. He was not mincing words when He said, "If you love Me, obey My commandments" (verse 15). Jesus was completely clear in this straightforward and challenging teaching. According to Jesus, obeying Scripture is tantamount to loving Him. If we love Him, we will obey. In other words, when we apply the Bible and do what it says, we are showing our love for Christ. As Jesus taught about the importance of obeying His commandments, He made sure that His followers knew that they were not alone. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would pick up where He left off. The Holy Spirit helps us to live lives that honor Him.
As we look at what Scripture has to say to us about our own lives, we must understand that there is no application without action. After all, if we love God and His Word, we will do what He says. True application always leads us to action. As a result, when we apply Scripture, we must be intentional about this application process. We can do this by forming specific, measurable, and attainable steps to take after to reading Scripture. This intentionality will help us know how to move forward and give us steps to take that are clear and attainable as we seek to show God how much we love Him through our obedience. The Holy Spirit and His lead often direct these steps. He gives us the strength to walk in obedience. Will you follow God's lead today? Will you be motivated to action?
Moving Toward Action
Read John 14:15-31, the verses listed in the Going Deeper section below. As you read, read with the reminder, "no application without action." After reading, what is one thing God is leading you to do as a result of these verses? How can you put that application to action today?
Read John 14:15-31 (NLT)
“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name) said to him, “Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us and not to the world at large?”
Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me. I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.
“I don’t have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over me, but I will do what the Father requires of me, so that the world will know that I love the Father. Come, let’s be going.
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