Made for Community reading plan from Love God Greatly that I worked on in 2015. With this study, as I have often done, I used the SOAP method of Bible study. Just a quick reminder that the S is for Scripture, O is for observation, A is for Application and P is for Prayer. As you will see, I really went in-depth with this study.
The first section was Made for Community with God. Here goes with the verse for the second day of that section.
S= "I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.
"Jesus answered, and said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words, and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make our abode with him." (John 14:18, 23)
O= Jesus was talking with the eleven (Judas having already left) just prior to going to the cross. He was offering them comfort and some wonderful promises, though it's not clear how much they grasped at this point of what was to happen. He said that He would not leave them comfortless -- literally, "orphans" -- but that He would come to them.
He also told them that if a person loves Him, they will keep His words. Several cross-references are given here:
"If ye love Me, keep My commandments." (John 14:15)
"He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me." (John 14:21)
C.I. Scofield comments, "Observe that the Lord correlates love for Him with obedience to Him. To love Christ means to care enough about Him to keep His commandments. But we cannot keep His commandments unless we search the Scriptures to find out what they are."
Jesus goes on to say in verse 23 that "My Father will love him [the one who keeps His words], and We will come unto him, and make our abode with him."
Believer's Bible Commentary points out, "If a person truly loves the Lord, he will want to keep all of His teachings, not just isolated commandments. The Father loves those who are willing to obey His Son without questions or reservations. Both Father and Son are especially dear to such loving and obedient hearts."
A= We have never seen Jesus in the flesh, or audibly heard the sound of His voice, as the eleven did. Yet the same promise is ours: He will not leave us comfortless and He has not, for we have the Comforter (the Holy Spirit). We also know that Jesus will come again.
If we love Jesus, we will want to keep His words. We will want to live in obedience to His commands. An acquaintance of mine, a professing believer, has often told me, "I love the Lord!". I have no doubt that she does love Him in a limited way. But she does not obey His Word, does not in fact even know what it says because she doesn't read it. Based on her actions, which speak louder than her words, I must draw the conclusion that her love for the Lord does not run very deep.
Yet I must admit that I too have areas in my life where I am not as obedient to God's Word as I might be. I need to stop and think: how much do I really love the Lord? If I truly love Him, I will pay attention to His Word and seek to live in obedience to it.
P= "Lord, I thank and praise You once again for the clarity of Your Word. I am thankful for the comforting presence of Your Holy Spirit. I praise You for the promise that You will come again.
"And Lord, I thank You for the clear teaching that if we love You, we will keep Your words. Help me to assess my own love for You in light of my obedience to You. Help me also, at some time, to be able to share this passage and its teaching with others, especially those like my acquaintance who are so emotional about their love for You. I thank You for how You will work, in Jesus' name, Amen."
That's our study for this week! I hope that it was a blessing to you!