Many Christians serve and obey Jesus out of fear and duty. They pray, witness, read the Bible, do charity and give financial support because they fear not obeying the Lord’s commandments. Many support churches and pay tithes because they are told that they are robbing God and they will lose blessings if they don’t.
Jesus requires that we obey Him out of love, not out of fear or duty. We read in John 21:15 “Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” 16He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” 17He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.
Many believers love their sin, worldly friends, fun, entertainment, TV, cellphones, holidays, fleshly pleasures, hobbies, even their pets, more than Jesus. Their obedience to Jesus is a burden to them. To pray is a duty. Many fast because they think they can move God to listen to their prayers by their sacrifice of food, but they have no desire for Jesus. They do not fast to take time to pray, meditate and get closer to Jesus. Many want Jesus to speak to them, but they have no desire for Jesus, they just want to use Him as a fortune teller to direct them to prosperity.
Doing charity out of duty is not pleasing to the Lord. We need to have compassion and really care. Preachers sometimes pray for people for healing, but they do not really care for the sick. Jesus felt compassion for the sick and afflicted. If we do not have real compassion our charity, offerings and prayers are hollow, meaningless.
If we pray out of duty, without love in our hearts to Jesus, our prayers are void, selfish and meaningless and we must not expect to receive anything.
Jesus said that He will disclose Himself to those who love Him. We read in John 14:21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” Obeying the Lords words and commandments, without love, is in vain.
Many think they will have eternal life if they believe in Jesus, and obey the gospel, repent and are baptized in water. Some even receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, with speaking in tongues, but they do not stay with Jesus and keep on obeying Him, because they do not love Him.
We can fool ourselves and we can fool other people, but we cannot fool Jesus. We can say that we love Jesus but He knows our true feelings. If we really love Jesus, we will gladly serve Him from our heart, every day. We will pray, wait on Him, listen to Him, follow and obey Him.
Do we really love Jesus or are we practicing religion?
May Jesus bless you.