(This is a “two-way journaling” entry, taken from journaled conversations with the Lord during my devotions. To learn more, see my page “What is Two-Way Journaling?“)
Jesus said, “Whoever has My commands and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (John 14:21)
He also added, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (verse 23).
I asked, But Father, don’t You love people who don’t love and obey Jesus?
“Darling, you know I love people who don’t love and obey Jesus. I loved the big bad Jesus-crucifying world enough to send Him to it (John 3:16). I demonstrated My love for you by sending Him to die while you were still sinners who did not love and obey Him (Romans 5:8). But I can love you a whole different way if you love Jesus.
Jesus is My favorite thing, and if you love My favorite thing with Me, then we can be Best Friends. Then we can have our Favorite Thing in common. Then we can snuggle on the sofa together and watch family videos of the exploits of Jesus together and cheer together in all the right places. Then we can wear our Jesus fan football jerseys together and cheer as we watch replays of the moment He crushed the serpent’s head like a father and daughter eating popcorn together and screaming with joy when Our Hero fighting for Our Team scores the touchdown that wins the Super Bowl–again and again and again.
If you don’t love and obey Jesus, I will love you from afar and longingly and My heart will say, ‘I would save you if you’d let Me.’ That is My heart towards so many of the people in the world, “I would save you if you’d let Me.” It’s like a Parent who wants to adopt a hurting child in the orphanage faithfully visiting every day to try to win the child’s trust so they will agree to the adoption. That’s the way I love the world. But if you will love and obey Jesus, My heart towards you will no longer be, ‘I would adopt you if you would let Me’ but ‘Hey honey, do you want to watch Jesus-football with Daddy tonight? I’ll make the popcorn and let you stay up late just this once.’ That’s what it means that I will come and live with you and make My home with you and Jesus will manifest Himself to you (John 14:21, 23).
If you will come and make the commitment to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, I will adopt you forever. But the more you love and obey Jesus, the more we will have in common and the more we can hang out together and be friends, you and I. ‘Make Our home with‘ and ‘manifest [ourselves] to‘ are just the football and popcorn of the spiritual realm. That is what I meant when I said (through Jesus) that I love the one who loves Him and who will show it by obeying Him.
So which kind of relationship with Me would you rather have? Obeying Jesus is worth it, I promise.”