April 14, 2023 — Same Question with Different Words

Ricky came by to pour some coffee. “What are you guys going to have for breakfast?” He asked.

Stan replied, “Can you give us a couple of minutes to decide?”

“Sure,” Ricky said, “I’ll be back.”

Ricky returned a little later and asked, “Do you know now?”

After we ordered and Ricky left to tell Cook what we wanted, Stan said, “I want to use what just happened as a starting point to talk about something that’s important for my faith walk.”

“What just happened other than we ordered breakfast?” I asked.

“Let’s look at it,” Stan replied. “The first time Ricky was here, he asked us what we were going to have for breakfast. The second time, he asked if we had decided.”

“So?” I said.

“It was the same question asked in two different ways,” Stan replied. “And, at least for me, God does the same thing all of the time.”

“How so?”

“Let me ask you a couple of questions,” Stan replied, “and I think you’ll see.”

“Okay,” I said. “What two questions?”

“First, do you love God?”

“Do I love God? Absolutely!”

Then he asked, “Do you obey Him?”

“Do I obey God?” I said. “Well, I usually try, but, no, I probably don’t always obey Him.”

“That’s the point,” Stan exclaimed. “It’s the same with me. It’s the same with all of us. Asking if I love God and if I obey Him is using different words to ask the same thing Jesus said.”

“What same thing?” I asked.

“First,” Stan said, “Luke records Jesus as asking why the people would call Him ‘Lord’ and not do what He said. Then in John’s gospel, Jesus says that the person who has and keeps His commandments is the one who loves Him.”

“Oh,” I replied. “If I say that I love God, which I do, but I don’t obey Him, something must be missing in my relationship with Him. Is that it?”

“That’s it,” Stan replied. “My obedience to what God has for me to obey is to flow out of my love for Him. If I’m not obeying Him even though I love Him, I need to take a look and find out why the answer to the same question is not the same.”


Bible verses to consider:

And why do you call Me, “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say? Luke 6:46.

If you love Me, you will keep my commandments. John 14:15.

He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him. John 14:21.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for so loving the world that you gave Jesus as the way for all who believe to spend eternity in your presence. Thank you for those who brought me to that truth so I could accept it. I love you, but I have to confess that I don’t always obey you the way you intend. Thank you for showing me that love is to lead to obedience and that if I say the one thing, I am to do the other, that love and obedience are the same thing. Please help me so that there is a match between my obedience and my love. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you responded to God’s love in sending Jesus to provide the way to Him for all of eternity? If no, why? Why would you not accept His free and gracious provision to not be separated from Him? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, do you love God? If yes, can you say that you obey Him? If you sense the need for any change in regard to the question of love and obedience, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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