“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”-John 15:10
Once again, Jesus returned to “commandments.” When we drift toward legalism, we think, “Phew! Just give me something to do,” but when we recall our freedom, we think “Wait, I thought that in Christ, I am free to do whatever I please.” For many of us, talk of commands stirs up all sorts of feelings, expectations, and emotions.
Perhaps you didn’t realize that Jesus gave any commandments, but in reality he gave dozens. You might be thinking, “I can’t even remember the 10 commandments, much less keep them. What am I supposed to do with dozens?” However, remember that Jesus boiled the commands down into something much easier to remember, though implementation remains challenging: love one another. A couple of times in the upper room, he told the disciples to love. Earlier, he had told them that they were to love the Lord with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love their neighbor as themselves (Mk. 12:30).
What commandments should we keep? We are to love. I have been thinking of this recently in terms of a 360 degree love—up, down, in, and out. In fact, I made up an acronym to help me remember: LUDIO. Our operating system as Christians is to love. When we love, we uphold Christ’s commandments.
Jesus, you commanded me to love God and love others. Although simple in principle, in reality, loving is one of the hardest things. I cannot love apart from your Spirit’s work in me. Thank you that you have promised he would always be working. Amen.