by Michael Phillips
Jesus often introduces the subject of obedience with the tiny but eternally significant word if. He recognizes that there are always two paths—obedience and disobedience. He commands obedience. But many will not obey.
This obedience is a natural outgrowth of love:
- If you love me you will obey my commandments. (John 14:15)
- He who has my commands and keeps them, he it is who loves me. (John 14:21)
- If a man loves me, he will keep my word. (John 14:23)
- You are my friends if you do what I command you. (John 15:14)
Jesus is well aware of the games people play with spiritual things. He wants none to mistake what it means to be his follower. Many will claim to love him. Many will pretend to love him. Many will talk about loving him. Many will analyze what it means to love him. However a Christian is distinguished and defined by one, and only one, thing: Obedience.
Obedience to the Commands of Jesus is a daily, moment-by-moment choice. We make it over and over. We are continually making it. It is a progressive and ongoing choice that defines what it means to love Jesus and be his follower.
In 2012, as he released The Commands of Jesus for the first time, author Michael Phillips wrote:
A year and a half ago I embarked on what can only be called the project of a lifetime to distill these years of prayerful reflection into a concise book on the commands of Jesus. That book is now complete. It is simply called The Commands. It represents my attempt to focus the prism of God's light in such a way as to illuminate a few powerful sayings that a Man said some 2000 years ago during the time He walked among us. When God stepped onto the planet, everything changed. That change is still transforming lives today. In one sense, this book has been 40 years in the making as God has deepened, refined, and continually focused the single prayer of my heart, Father, make me like Jesus.
I can say without reservation that this is THE most important book I have ever compiled.
277 pages, paperback