Consider the following verse from the Book of John: “If ye love me, keep [ye will keep] my commandments.” [John 14:15]. When you read the verse above, what were your initial thoughts? Did you view the verse as words of “law” or words of “liberty”? Too often they are viewed as words of “law” – in that if I am to demonstrate my love for the Lord, I must be busy about doing things like: going to church on Sunday morning/evening, Wednesday evening, reading my Bible, giving tithes/offerings, singing, listening to the pastor preach, and witnessing.
It must be stated here that these things are very important in the life of a Christian. However, if we are not careful, we will pursue these “precepts” as a means to demonstrate our love for the Lord from a “law” perspective in keeping the Lord’s commandments. In other words, our Christian lives will be lived from the “outside-in”, and our service rendered unto the Lord will be “mechanical” at best. If on the other hand we approach John 14:15 from the perspective of “liberty”, we will not have to “show” the Lord we love him; He will know our love by our faith in Him.
To further explain this, consider the following verse: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” [Matthew 5:6]. This verse declares that if we “hunger” and “thirst” after His righteousness [that is, if we will seek or pursue to be fed by God’s Word and to be filled with His Spirit], we will be filled and we will be blessed [that is, fully satisfied by the Lord]. When we are filled by His righteousness, we will in turn seek to do His will. One area we will manifest serving the Lord in liberty is through willing obedience to the following verses.
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Note: If you try to serve the Lord through “law” instead of “liberty”, you will never be able to truly demonstrate God’s love to someone else; for, all of your service unto the Lord will be about [you].
When we – through liberty – seek to walk and to live by faith – we will come to church services with a song and a prayer in our hearts. We will praise the Lord with thanksgiving – demonstrating our thanksgiving through worship, giving, prayer, and praise – yearning to be fed from the Word of God. And our prayer will be that souls will be saved, lives will be changed, and that [we] will become more faithful and obedient unto the Lord’s service – thus, living a life of faith from the “inside-out”. When we allow the Lord to work through us – in our liberty to “keep His commandments” – the words of Romans 1:17 will resonate from within our lives, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Let us also be reminded of James 2:18,
“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”
When we truly engage ourselves in serving the Lord by “keeping [doing] His commandments”, our faith in the Lord and our love for the Lord will be manifested unto the Lord. But, again, it must be evidenced in “liberty” – not under “law“.
Jesus summed up a life lived in liberty in the following verses.
“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
Are you serving the Lord through a joyful life in “liberty” – or are you serving the Lord through a mundane life under “law”? I pray that you will choose “liberty”.