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John 14:15-18

If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Jesus was preparing the disciples for His death. He knew they would feel lost and shepherdless when He was crucified and physically taken from them. The disciples experience with Jesus up to this point had been outward in the physical world and now, with the crucifixion of Jesus, they were being moved into a higher realm. From this point forward their experience with Jesus would be inward and in the spiritual world. The fruit of that experience would be displayed outwardly through their works.

Prior to this the disciples had been the visible outward manifestation of Jesus’ works that resulted from His inward relationship with the Father. Now the crucifixion of Jesus would move the disciples from only an inward belief to an outward doing, as it were. As it says in James 1:22, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”   

We Christians are quick to loudly proclaim our love and devotion for Christ. Yet when it comes time to put our faith into action by loving and comforting the poor, the stranger, the fatherless and the widow, we draw back from the commitment of time and resources, the emotional investment that requires. We put up a wall between us and those on the outside so as to minimize our exposure to ridicule and rejection. We are filled with faith on the inside and yet somehow that never translates into the love of God to the Fatherless or the Comfortless on the outside.  

“If you love me, keep my commandments.” What are those commandments? Those commandments are to love the LORD with all our being and to love our neighbor as ourself. That is love inwardly and outwardly. James 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” 

Does your religion measure up to the biblical standard?