Willing Obedience

Series: Love and War | Week 2: Marching Orders

Read 1 John 2:3-4 in your personal Bible or at the link provided.

1. How can we be sure that we know God?
2. What reveals that a person is a liar?
3. What are we called to live in?

In today’s verses, John reinforces what he heard Jesus teach: “If you love me, obey my commandments” (John 14:15). John repeats the word ‘obey’ as a point of emphasis. Jesus didn’t just die for us to go to heaven. He also died to get heaven into us, and that should change how we live.

Obedience is often confused with legalism, but that’s not what it means. Obedience is willingly submitting to God’s best for our lives. It’s when we order our lives to God’s commands. His authority is our final authority. We obey because we trust that God’s ways for us are better than anything else. Our obedience doesn’t make us worthy of love – Jesus does – but obedience flows out of our love for God.

All of this means our relationship to sin should change. How so? We don’t plan to sin, we don’t fully enjoy sin like we once did, and we live lives of confession and repentance. If we say we love God, our lives should look like Jesus. And that starts with willing obedience.

Have you found yourself claiming to know God but not necessarily obeying Him?
What areas of your life are hardest for you to trust that God’s ways are better than anything else?
Would you say the following statements are true of you: (1) I don’t plan to sin. (2) I don’t fully enjoy sin like I once did. (3) I live a life of confession and repentance. If there are any inconsistencies, what is God asking you to do in response?

Pray through these questions, and write down what God is prompting you to do next. Share with a friend, and take a step to apply it.

Love and War