>Last night, at teen camp, I showed a clip of the young Celtic Thunder guy singing “Puppy Love.”
I reminded the students that puppy love is simply being in love with the idea of love; not a person. I then suggested that there is a sort of “Jesus” puppy love; where one is in love with the idea of Jesus, the benefits of Jesus, the music of Jesus, but not in love with Jesus.
We talked about “you are My friends if you do whatever I command,” and, of course, John 14.21.
Then this afternoon I found this quote from John R. W. Stott:
John Stott in an appendix with the title, “Reflections of an Octogenarian, 27 April 2001”:
. . . Let me share with you a conviction about obedience. John 14:21 is one of my favorite verses. Here are the words of Jesus: “Whoever has my commandments 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.”
The verse ends with a particularly precious promise: “I will show myself to him (or her)”, or “I will manifest myself to him.” Is this just what we are longing for, namely a clearer vision of Christ? . . .
But this promise of Jesus is conditional. He reveals himself only to his lovers. And who are his lovers? Not those who make loud protestations of love, and then go out like Peter to deny him. Not those who sing rather sentimental songs “Jesus, I love you.” (It is all right to sing them too, but they do not prove anything.) No, those who truly love the Lord Jesus are those who obey his commandments.
To sum up, the test of love is obedience, and the reward of love is a self-manifestation of Christ.
– John Stott , The Living Church: Convictions of a Lifelong Pastor
I kinda wish I’d found the quote before I preached!