In John 14:15, Jesus says, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” The operative word here is keep. I checked the Thesaurus for the word keep and these words were listed: continue, store, hang on to, protect, honour. This is how we can apply each word to God’s commandments:
- We continue to obey them. God intends for us to always obey Him.
- We have to store them because we will always need them.
- We have to hang on to them because they are our insurance for good and productive lives. They are the bane of our existence. Without God’s guidelines, we are lost and have no direction in our lives.
- We should protect these commandments because they are God’s and they are precious.
- We should honour them. They are our lifesavers—they protect us from sinning against God.
As followers of Jesus, we should keep God’s commandments just as Jesus Himself kept them. In John 14:31, He says, “but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.” Jesus clearly demonstrates here that love and obedience are synonymous. We obey God because we love Him and we keep His Word. Jesus related everything His Father told Him to and He kept the word by setting a good example to His followers. He didn’t just preach, He practiced what He preached. He taught forgiveness and He showed it when He saved an adulteress from being stoned and said to her “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:11) He talked about mercy and He showed it to the multitudes because they were weary and scattered like sheep without a shepherd. He ate with tax collectors and sinners because, “For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:13, 36)
A friend is someone who is always there when we need him; someone we can confide in, depend on, trust, be intimate with, share things with, seek advice from and have a close and loving relationship with. Jesus is the embodiment of all these things. He’s not just our Saviour. He is our Friend. And because He’s our Friend, we should show Him how much we care for Him and appreciate Him. We should be willing to do anything for Him and not want to disappoint Him. We should be worthy of His friendship. “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants; for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:14-15)
We are no longer strangers to the gospel or as Jesus puts it, servants who don’t know what the master is up to. His commandment is for us to love one another as He loves us. There is no greater love than for a person to lay down his life for his friends. Jesus laid down His life for us. We are His friends and friends stick together. So, out of friendship and love for Him, we keep His commandment. Commandments are for our own good. David couldn’t have said it better, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening to the eyes.” (Psalm 19:7a, 8) Just as we follow good advice when it is offered to us, we should follow God’s commandments given to us out of love.