January 21 // Samuel Ellington
John 14:23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
The book of John is the most artistic, poetic interpretation of the unique ministry of Jesus. Verses from this book have become so well-known among both the Christian and secular communities. In particular, the verse we will be focusing on, John 14:6. It is important for two reasons.
First, the Lord is telling us something wonderful about his presence–it is lasting. Jesus describes His and God’s arrival as “making their home.” Remember this would have been a radical concept for the early Christians. During Old Testament times, the presence of the Holy Spirit occurred only temporarily. No one person would have the Spirit’s presence within them for the entirety of their life. Yet, here is a carpenter claiming that the God of the universe is going to dwell with us by making His home in our us. In 1 Corinthians 1:21-22, “…He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, a guarantee of what is to come.”
Secondly, not only does this verse describe an exquisite truth about God’s intended dwelling place, it tells us how to receive that presence. “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.” Other translations, such as the New Living Translation, say “All who love me will do what I say.” This phrase is our spiritual Google Maps; it tells us how to get to the place where God intends to make His home–simply obey His teaching.
Unfortunately people tend to use it as a weapon of condemnation. “Well, the Bible says that if you love Jesus, you’ll do what he says, and you went to Las Vegas last week, so you don’t love Jesus.” This verse was never meant to be a tool to judge each other’s actions. John 14:23 is an instruction manual. It tells us what to do when we are in a loving relationship with God–obey His teaching. You might have spent the last 11 days, 11 years, or a whole lifetime cultivating a relationship with God and allowing Him to develop His perfect love within you. If you’re like me, at times you may have desired a more intimate connection with your Creator.
This verse is for you! If your symptoms are:
1) A desire to know GOD more profoundly 2) A longing for HIS presence 3) Feeling like you lack something that only HE can provide
…then take the Good Physician’s advice and follow His commands. I guarantee, better yet, HE guarantees that it will lead you to HIS presence.
Lord, today as I desire your presence, renew in me a love and appreciation for your teachings. Strengthen my resolve and help me to walk in a manner that coincides with your call to holiness.