But…if You Love Me by ACHUCKAllen
I grew up in a faith system that included a lot of guilt and pressure to act Christianly. Let me simply state that I failed greatly. Don’t get me wrong, I did all the right things and I said most of the right things, at least to the “right” people.
During a season of death, cancer, finances, and relationships that were supposed to be built on faith, I lost it! I lost the desire to perform as a “good Christian.” I simply couldn’t do it any longer. As a result, I wounded a lot of friendships and lost many dear friends.
I knew, at the ripe old age of 15 that I was divinely called to serve as a local church pastor. But frankly, I couldn’t imagine being a pastor. I liked making money and pushing my entrepreneurial spirit to the limit. I couldn’t see a path to making money and succeeding wildly as a pastor. All of that weighed on me, but what really set me off was that I simply didn’t admire the vast majority of pastors that I knew.
And yet, here I am as the Lead Pastor at a great church and more contented than ever!
The turn was aided by several crisis points in my life, but the one crisis of faith was highlighted in bold text. In John’s gospel, chapter14, verse 15 Jesus said, “If you love me, obey my commandments.”
For most of my life, I listened to preachers scream and throw some shade to the guilt side of life. I heard with anger and spittle flying from elegant pulpits that I simply wasn’t obeying enough. When I heard it stated in a totally different context, I heard, When I trust and cherish my faith of love and grace in Christ alone, following in His footsteps will naturally happen.
Obeying Jesus is pretty simple when we drop all of our orthodoxies and faith hang-ups. Living more like Jesus is never coated with rights, rituals or religion. It is as simple as He taught in Matthew chapter 22 that “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
How about that! – Love God and Love others and you are walking in the footsteps of Jesus, the Lord.
Find your way to love and the obeying gets pretty easy.