“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
John 14:15 (KJV)
How are you? If you read last week’s post of the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, this verse may look familiar to you. Yes, I used John 14:15 as the focal verse as well. However, if you remember, I used John 14:15 to encourage Christians to have compassion and understanding for new Christians or almost Christians. This week, I will ponder the words in John 14:15 in the way that I normally do with the focal verse.
I believe that the entire chapter of John 14 is of Jesus’ talk with his apostles (and maybe some other disciples) about what is going to happen after his crucifixion. Jesus is reassuring his followers that “everything will be okay” in that they will see him again (John 14:3), even if others don’t and they will have a “Comforter” (John 14:16) after he leaves them.
I can’t even imagine what Jesus’ disciples were thinking and feeling during this talk. It seemed to confuse His apostles. Thomas (John 14:5) and Philip (John 14:8) both asked questions. I think if I were one of them, I would have thought that Jesus was talking in riddles. He was talking about things in the future that they didn’t understand. Can you imagine being an apostle back then and hearing all of this, not knowing what we know now?
Anyway, to me, it seems like John 14:15 is part of an agreement of sorts. Well, maybe more of a testimony of how Jesus and His disciples will be able to realize that they love and care for each other. Before that, Jesus states that He is of the Father and the Father is in him, and that anyone who believes in Jesus, will be able to do greater works than he has done (John 14:11-12). Then, Jesus goes on to say, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14 KJV)
I believe that Jesus was trying to tell his apostles in this conversation, that he loves them. He knew that they didn’t understand what he was telling them and didn’t know what was going to happen. So, he was trying to reassure them.
Within this conversation, Jesus tells his apostles what they can do to show their love. In John 14:15 (KJV) Jesus says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Have you ever loved some people and looked to them that you wanted to do extra well for them? Have you ever felt like if you could just do so fabulously that it would impress one of these loved ones, that he or she would know just how much you love him or her? I have felt that before. It was a childlike and inexperienced thought or feeling. It wasn’t a feeling that love could be bought. It was just a feeling of love and admiration from someone who was young and caring.
Maybe the words in John 14:15 could be likened to a close-knit family who wanted to keep up the family honor, so they did good out of respect and love for the family. The driving force for the action is love.
As I mentioned in last week’s Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, sometimes when we hear “If you love me, you will ______” it is a manipulation. The driving force isn’t love at all. However, when Jesus says it, we know it is out of love and truth. We know it isn’t out of manipulation or any alternative motive.
If we love Jesus, we will obey his commandments. Not out of obedience or law, but out of love. We will trust that he knows what is best for us and will only tell us what is good for us. Jesus will only tell us things that will lead to glorifying God and being with Him eternally. What are your thoughts? How do you show Jesus you love him? Do you obey his commandments?
Thank you for your infinite love. Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, to be our ultimate role model. Help us to remember that you have our best in mind. Help us to realize that the words in John 14:15 was spoken by Jesus out of love, not out of any sort of alternative motive. Help us to show our love of our Savior, Jesus, be keeping his commandments. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for John 14:15 (KJV):
*What does John 14:15 mean to me?
*Have I ever felt like I wanted to show someone that I loved him or her by
doing something extra special that you think he or she would know your
love for him or her?
*Have I ever felt manipulated by an “If you love me…” statement?
*Do I know that Jesus wasn’t being manipulative with this statement?
*Do I show Jesus that I love him by keeping his commandments?
*What message is God giving me in John 14:15?
*What can I do to better heed the words in John 14:15?
Now, it is your turn.
Thank you so much for being here. I appreciate your kindness and support. I enjoy sharing God's Word with you. I pray that you use my little tidbits and ponderings to read God's Word for yourself and pray for understanding. I pray it encourages you to reflect upon yourself and do what you can to grow in your faith. God bless.
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“Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.”
Proverbs 13:13 (KJV)
How are you today? Last week I pondered the words in Psalms 119:127 and how the psalmist cherished God’s Word more than the finest gold. You can read it here. Proverbs 13:13 is similar to Psalms 119:127 in that it too shows that we are to cherish God’s Word and commandments.
Let’s look at the first part of Proverbs 13:13 (KJV). It says, “Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed.” What does the “destroyed” mean? To tell you the truth, I am not sure I want to find out. However, if we truly think of God as our Heavenly Father, we know that like any good parent, He only wants what is best for us. His Word will lead us to this goodness. “Destroyed” could be hardship in this life, as in if we don’t follow God’s Word and kill someone we could be sent to jail or even sentenced to death. I would guess that would be a way of being destroyed. Or, maybe we don’t follow God’s Word and we don’t trust Him, so we worry ourselves to death. That could be a way of being destroyed.
While these extreme examples of how not listening to God and how they can destroy us in this life, the worst way it can destroy us is in eternal life, or shall I say eternal death. It may be difficult to deal with the consequences of not following God’s Word in this life, I can’t imagine suffering the consequences in the eternity. I don’t want to be destroyed in this life or in eternity. Do you?
Now that we know we don’t want to be destroyed, let’s look at the second part of Proverbs 13:13 (KJV), “but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.” It might be nice to know that the word “commandment” here doesn’t just refer to what we call the “Ten Commandments”, but to God’s Word and commands or will for us in general. I believe it means not only what God commands us in scripture, but also through prayer. What about you?
Another word to look at in the second part of Proverbs 13:13 (KJV) is the word “feareth”. What does “feareth the commandment” mean to you? Usually, when I think about “fear” I think about being so afraid of something that I don’t want to be near it. I want to turn and run away from something that I fear. (Insert a picture of a snake chasing me as I think, “feet don’t fail me now.”) However, this isn’t the meaning here. After all, God wants us close to Him and not far from Him. God wants us to cherish His word, to know it, read it, listen to it, and love it always. God doesn’t want us to run away from His Word.
This kind of fear is more of a reverence and respect. It is a fear of going against it, because of the terrible consequences, such as destruction and eternal death. It is like an extreme desire of wanting to do the right thing, to not disappoint God, and to follow His will, not only because we don’t want the consequences of doing something wrong, but also because we love Him and we know He loves us.
I like the last part of Proverbs 13:13 the most. I like the part about …”he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded”. I like the idea of being close to God throughout eternity. That is the ultimate reward for those who follow His Word. It is also another great reason to read the Bible. If we don’t know God’s Word, it is difficult to fear or follow it.
Two posts in a row about cherishing and following God’s Word. Can you tell that I am encouraging you to read scripture for yourself and follow God’s will for you? Like I said before, I am finding that the more I read God’s Word, the more I do cherish it.
Thank you for being our Father in Heaven. Thank you for you holy Word and for giving us a path to you. Help us to read and follow your Word as a way of life, this life and eternal life with you. Help us to take in, understand, and cherish your Word. Help us to be closer to you, now and in eternity. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Proverbs 13:13 (KJV):
*What does Proverbs 13:13 mean to me?
*What does “despiseth” mean to me?
*What does “destroyed” mean to me?
*Do I despise God’s Word?
*Do I cherish God’s Word?
*How do my actions show what I think of God’s Word?
*What does “feareth the commandment” mean to me?
*Do I fear the commandment of God? How do I show it?
*What does “shall be rewarded” mean to me?
*How can I better live according to the words in Proverbs 13:13?
Now, it is your turn.
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“Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.”
Psalms 119:127 (KJV)
How are you? Today’s post comes from Psalm 119, which is considered one of the “Pilgrimage Songs”. The human author of the psalm is unknown, however, the important point is it is part of God’s Word and God is the ultimate author.
Let me start by asking you, “What is your most prized possession?” I don’t mean family, friends, and other loved ones. I mean a tangible item, a possession. It could be something of great monetary value, maybe a house or a vehicle. It could be an inheritance from a loved one that has invaluable sentimental value with any amount of monetary value. Maybe it is something that has no monetary value at all, but it “means the world” to you for a personal reason. I don’t know. Whatever it is, keep it in mind and keep how much you cherish it in mind. Also, keep the reason you cherish it in mind.
Here is another question for you, before I actually start specifically pondering today’s verse. Do you have a favorite sentiment, saying, or quote that someone you know says that moves you, encourages you, endears you to him or her, or is valuable to you in one way or another? Who says it? How do you feel when he or she says it? Remember that feeling.
Okay, now, let’s look at the psalmists words in Psalms 119:127 (KJV) “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” In a worldly way, some people feel that gold (precious metals/jewels) is the most valuable thing on earth. I am guessing the psalmist chose to make the comparison to gold, because of the worldly thinking that if you have gold you are rich and have something valuable. The comparison doesn’t stop there. No. The psalmist wants to stress his point, so he compares his feelings for the commandments with not only gold, but also the purest and highest quality gold.
With this comparison, we know that the psalmist holds God’s commandments near and dear to his heart. They are worth more to him than even the finest gold. The psalmist seeks the heavenly way of life instead of the worldly way of life. He treasures God’s commands, God’s will, and God’s Word instead of gold and other worldly riches. Psalm 119 is full of reasons why the psalmist holds the commandments with such high regard. How do you rank God’s commandments in the list of things that you cherish and love?
Psalm 119 in general, but also Psalms 119:127 specifically shows us the importance God’s Word and God’s commandments and how much we should cherish them. If we take this a bit deeper, Psalms 119:127 gives us a great reason to read our Bible. It is difficult to know God’s Word, God’s will, and God’s commandments if we don’t read the Bible.
Thank you for your Word! Help us to cherish it, seek it, and abide by it above any earthly treasure. Help us to love your Word and your commandments more than the finest gold. Help us to love you and to seek your will and your Word above all else. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Psalms 119:127 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 119:127 mean to me?
*Do I cherish God’s Word and commandments as much as the psalmist does?
*How do I show where I rank God’s commandments in my life?
*Do I know all that God commands and expects of me or wants for me?
*Do I read the Bible?
*How can I know God’s commands, if I don’t read the Bible?
*How can I better live and appreciate the words in Psalms 119:127?
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Psalms 100 Series - Part 5
“For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
Psalms 100:5 (KJV)
How are you today? I hope you are well. Today, I offer the last of the Psalms 100 Series. I pray you are enjoying it and being blessed by it. In today’s Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, we look at Psalms 100:5.
In Psalms 100:1, we are told that Psalm 100 is a psalm of praise. I also mentioned that it is a joyful psalm to me. It is that joy which makes me happy to praise God. In Psalms 100:5, we are told other reasons why God is deserving of our praise.
There are three phrases or parts to Psalms 100:5. The first and second are pretty easy for us to understand as believers. We know of God’s goodness and mercy. Many of us have experienced both many, many times.
It is the third phrase or part where I think we find division. It is difficult for many people to believe that “his truth endureth to all generations.” I have heard where some people feel that there are parts of God’s Word that are outdated and no longer apply to their lives. Yet, in the last part of Psalms 100:5, we are told otherwise.
One might say, “Well, we are no longer required to sacrifice animals, so that is outdated.” The actual sacrificing animals may not apply to us today, but that isn’t because it is outdated. It is because Jesus died on the cross for us. He was the living sacrifice once and for all. This doesn’t mean that we may not be required to show some sort of sacrifice, to repent, to take some sort of responsibility, or to make some sort of amends. It doesn’t mean that we are not called to show our thanks and appreciation. These are some of the reasons behind the animal sacrifices. The actions and feelings behind the animal sacrifices are still very much appropriate for today’s believers.
Someone might ask, “But what about how the wife should be submissive to her husband? That is outdated. Nobody does that any more. Women are considered equal now a days. There are laws. It isn’t politically correct to think otherwise.”
First of all, it isn’t outdated to God. He still calls wives to be submissive to their husbands. Secondly, there are still women who are submissive to their husbands. It isn’t outdated for them either. Thirdly, just because worldly laws or trends and political correctness seem to wander from God’s truth, it doesn’t render God’s Word outdated or make it less of a truth today than it was when it was written. We are called to follow God’s Word whether it is outdated in worldly view or not, because it isn’t outdated in God’s eyes.
That is the real point. God’s Word endures forever. God’s Word is truth for people in all times. It doesn’t change and isn’t outdated. We are called to thank Him and praise Him, and follow the truth of His Word always, no matter what the worldly views of our times may be.
Thank you for being our Heavenly Father. Thank you for your holy word. Help us to remember and live the words of Psalm 100 and all of scriptures. Help us to remember that your words are truth to us for all times and don’t get outdated. Help us to live by your words and praise you always, for you are good and deserve it always. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Psalms 100:5 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 100:5 mean to me?
*Do I believe in God’s goodness?
*Do I believe in God’s mercy?
*Do I believe that God’s Word never gets outdated?
*Are there any parts of my life where stray from God’s word, because of
*Is there anything I need to change in order to get back on track for God’s
will for me?
*Is there anything I can do to better live out the truth in Psalms 100:5?
Now, it is your turn.
If you haven't already, you may want to read the other posts in the Psalms 100 Series:
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This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.