John 14:15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
When I contemplate these words of Jesus I am reminded of this story:
Mrs. Deacon recalled an assignment she gave her 5th grade class at Bethany Elementary School a few years ago. It entailed each child using two of their spelling words, obey and motivate, in a few sentences about a personal experience in which the meaning of the spelling words would be defined. These were to be shared in class the next day.
Darrell was the first to give his assignment and he explained about how his dad had asked him to mow the lawn last weekend and he had obeyed quickly because he was motivated by the possibility of a reward. His dad always took him out for ice-cream after he finished the lawn!
Next was Sybil. She stood up and told the class about when her mom asked her to clean up the dishes after supper a few days ago; that she had jumped up before everyone was even finished and began clearing the table. She said, “I am not motivated to do my chores very often, but my brother didn’t obey last week and dad made him sit in the corner for an hour. I didn’t want to miss my favorite TV show so I was very motivated to obey this time!”
Each child stood and related a similar story. Alex was last and probably the most memorable. He told the class about the time his grandmother had asked him to do her a big favor! When he agreed, she had asked him to clean her dentures for her because her hands were too achy from arthritis to do it herself. This certainly got a rise from the class. Most of the girls responded by shouting things like, “Ewwwww!” or “That’s gross!” And the boys just laughed and enjoyed the girls’ response.
Mrs. Deacon was also intrigued with this scenario. She asked, “So Alex, did you obey? Please finish your story.”
Alex continued, “Yep, I did it! It’s not like I really wanted to touch them, but I love my grandma so much that I would do anything for her. I figured it’s the least I can do for her. So, I obeyed, and I guess my motivation was just seeing the smile on my grandma’s face. Haha, literally!”
I love this story; because it reminds me of the real reason I need to heed God’s Word, LOVE! I am not always obedient to keep Christ’s commandments; and when I am obedient, it is not always for the right reason. It might be out of fear of punishment or because I anticipate His blessings. Please take not here, this is not speaking of the Ten Commandments! Jesus says in this verse, …keep My commandments. What are His commandments? Look back through the gospels and you will find that Christ asks us to follow Him, to abide in Him, to believe Him, to fear not, to have faith. Oh, that I can be more like Alex in my obedience to Christ; to keep His commandments just because I want to see the smile on His face!
Have you considered what motivates your obedience to Christ beloved? I would love to hear from you! My prayer is that Christ’s love for you overwhelms you in such a way that you, like me, are in awe of it! Let it be your prompt, your motivation, your reason for obeying the commandments of Christ.