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."

How many of us have had a toothache? Probably more than want to admit it. But when we have a toothache, we are receiving signals saying something is not right. We are being told that if this is not taken care of then it will lead to worse things. So when we have a toothache we cannot simply ignore it. We must take action to correct the problem. This usually means more pain as we sit in those dreaded chairs at the dentist office, but in the long run, we know that we will be far better off then we were if we had not gone to the dentist. So when the pain speaks to us we must respond to it.

In the same way, when God speaks to us, we must respond to him. We have two options: we can listen to God and be obedient, or we can ignore him and be disobedient. If we are disobedient to God then we are separating ourselves from him. We see in today's scripture that if we love God, we will listen and obey. Just as sometimes we have to sit in the dentist chair and go through some pain to correct a toothache, so also we may have to go through some suffering when listening to God. There may be times of pain and hardship but we endure these things because of the love God has shown us. So while pain is a motivation for going to see a dentist, love is the motivation for doing God's will.

Prayer: Lord, you speak to us and yet sometimes we do not listen. Though we do the things we wish to do, still you love us and forgive us. May you open our ears so that we may be obedient to what you are saying to us. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Michael Steckel
Fairbanks, Alaska, USA

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