Jesus said to his disciples: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
“Love, love, love…all you need is love.” These words were made famous more recently by the Beatles, but Jesus first made them famous in the early 30’s A.D. In the Gospel, Jesus equates following God’s Commandments as Truly-Loving Him; which, in turn, equates to Truly-Loving His Father, God. As most things go with Jesus, this one is pretty simple, but, in this world, it’s often hard to do. We live in bodies that break-down while we meander through a broken world. You may have heard it said that “nobody’s getting out of here alive.” And, that we must remember that God has a Plan for each and every one of us (even when we don’t see it). But no matter what happens to us, we’re to Trust in, Listen to, and Obey God (including His Word and Commandments) – no matter how “rough” things get. And, so, we are Called to “rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.…” (Romans 5:3-5). Let’s not forget that while God has a Plan for us, so does satan. He will tempt us 24/7/365 to do something that God says that we shouldn’t do (like he did in the Garden with Eve) and then, once we do it, he will “guilt” us to death over it hoping to separate us from God. But, in our best efforts to stay as close to God as possible while Loving the best that we can in our broken bodies, we will fail at times and that’s okay if we are prudent to remember that, as Children of God, we are “free forever from condemnation and the charges against us” (Romans 8:1, 2, 31-34). There isn’t anything that we can do that can make God fall out of love with us; it’s always our choice to live and rest in Him or to walk away from His Love. We must never, ever do that, or let me put it another way as U.S. Navy Admiral William H. McRaven, a former Navy Seal, shared in his infamous 2014 speech with the graduates of the University of Texas. He said that in Navy SEAL training there is a brass bell that hangs in the center of the compound for all of the students to see and that all that student has to do to quit the SEAL training is to ring the bell. He finished his speech by encouraging the graduates and those in attendance to never, ever ring the bell. He emphasized that if you do ring your bell in life, you’ll never, ever change the world. So, again, let’s Love recklessly doing our best along the way to Honor God knowing that He has a Plan for us and only we can condemn ourselves and we must never, ever ring the bell!