As I was teaching this material in DMD School of Ministry yesterday, I was compelled to take it and minimize it to share a few thoughts with you. In the Great Commission text of Matthew 28:19-20 (that serves as a foundation for DiscipleMakingDisciples), the qualifier of Jesus to make disciples was “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” I think we all know that obedience does not come naturally to our lives. We must be taught to be obedient. And disciples must obey.

What really challenges us is that we discover that Jesus links obedience to love.  Consider His words. “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love” (John15:9-10). He had previously said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” Then He makes perhaps one of the greatest promises in all of Scripture, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show MYSELF to him” (John 14:21).

We too often forget that Jesus requires loving obedience out of His disciples. It is not an option, but the rewards of loving obedience are astounding. That is what I want to focus on today. We know that God loved us first. He sent His Son to die for us. But once He died for us, He now asks us to respond in loving obedience (John 14:15). If we are faithful to obey, He gives us a promise. He will love us and show Himself to us.

So how does God love us back as believers? God loves us back by teaching us more about Himself! How often do we hear that kind of talk in the Church today? Not too often. We hear that God will love us back by blessing our lives, by granting our requests, by providing for our material needs, by giving us more stuff. Not so. God loves us back by teaching us more about God. So what can we conclude? The details of God are only discovered on the path of obedience. We simply will not know until we obey.

Something I commonly hear from people is along the lines of this: “Well if only God would show me more of my future, I would trust and step out into His plan.” God would respond to that with this, “Start walking down the path of loving obedience and I will provide more information with each step.” We walk by faith, not by sight.

Most Christians stand just at the edge of the path of obedience always flippantly demanding from God more information. This is faulty. We have already been provided the information. His commands are clear in Scripture. We have to challenge our hearts as to whether we are really acquainted with the commandments of the Lord; for how can we keep them without really knowing them? His commandments must be learned, and how else can we learn them but by becoming acquainted with the Scriptures.

It’s not rocket science. The times of our lives when we feel closest to God are the seasons of life when we are most obedient. Why? Because when we obey, we see Him more clearly.

Oswald Chambers said it best, “If I obey Jesus Christ in the seemingly random circumstances of life, they become pinholes through which I see the face of God.”

May each of us live the life of a disciple, a life of close communion with God that is walking in loving obedience. How many pinholes will be granted to you today?