Devotional - Memory Verse - John 14:23
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."
Last week we learned from John 15 that we are to obey this command from Jesus, "Love each other as I have loved you." John 14:23 says that our obedience will result in the Father loving us. When I initially read this, I said to myself, "What? I thought the Father loved the whole world before we loved him!" That is true, John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world..." Is the Bible contradicting itself? Not at all!
The love that is described in John 14:23 isn't the result of our own religious efforts. This love is God's "grace" (or favor/special blessing) that is poured out to those who abide in Christ. Paul talks about this love in Ephesians 1:5-6, "In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will... to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." Did you catch the last part? Grace is freely available to us because it is found "in the One he loves." The "One he loves" is Jesus! Since the Father loves the Son, and we abide (or remain in) the Son, we are loved and become his adopted sons.
Think about the Father/Son relationship for a moment. When the Father wants to leave something for his children, how does he do it? If we read on in Ephesians 1:13-14 it says, "...you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance..." Father's will leave things for their children with an inheritance! According to Ephesians 1:14, the Holy Spirit was given to us as a "deposit" to guarantee our inheritance. A deposit is the equivalent of a promise. Jesus has promised to return for us because he left the Holy Spirit as a deposit.
When we read the rest of John 14:23 it says, "and we will come to him and make our home with him." Not only did the Father and the Son leave us a deposit; they put that deposit within us in the form of the Holy Spirit! Ephesians 1:13 says, "Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit." This seal is God's signature of ownership and it has been stamped on our hearts when we make Jesus our King.