“If you love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15
Our weekly Christian devotional
I can’t remember a time when our family didn’t pray for my grandparent’s salvation; both were devout Buddhists. And because of my mother’s persistence, they were also well versed in the ‘art’ of ever so politely declining any conversational topic that might potentially lead into talking about Christ.
The faint look of hope slowly drained from my mother’s eyes as the fruitless years passed. Seeing this began to stir my own doubts about their salvation. I began to wonder if my precious Ojechan and Obachan would ever open their hearts to hearing the truth. But, it’s good to keep this truth in mind–Your whole life can change in just one day.
Obachan had just been admitted to the hospital for a minor heart operation. While recovering from it, she contracted a fatal bacterial infection. We watched as her tiny, frail body crumbled from the assault, her health rapidly declined before our eyes.
The last two weeks of her life our family traveled back and forth to the hospital; our stomachs clenched in collective fear that this visit might be our last. My sweet mother stayed at the hospital most of the time, only leaving to eat and take a shower.
“Colleen…Colleen…help me!” Obachan’s parched lips barely could reach a whisper as she called from the hospital bed.
My mom stirred quickly from her makeshift mattress on the hospital chair. It was the middle of the night. The only light that could be seen was from the red ‘exit’ signs and the faint glow from the computers in the nurse’s station.
“What do you need? What’s wrong?” She could vaguely see my grandmother flicking wildly at something on her nightgown.
“They’re all over me! Slugs! Help!” Obachan shifted her weight around the bed, her voice fearful and gasping.
My mom turned on the lights.
“See? There are no slugs, Obachan.” She noticed that that neither her words nor the light seemed to lend any comfort.
“Pray to that god of yours.” My grandmother was desperate.
“Okay.” My mother bowed her head in prayer.
But, when she was finished, my grandmother’s fearful expression didn’t leave.
“Your prayers didn’t work, Colleen; there’s more of them now!” Obachan now clung to my mother’s arm, practically trying to crawl up it.
“Maybe it’s because He’s not your God. Would you like to pray and make Him your God first?” My mother must have asked her this same question hundreds of times over the years. But, today, Obachan was desperate; today, she was ready.
“Yes! Anything!” Immediately Obachan bowed her head, asking the Lord to forgive her sins. She knew how to ask Jesus into her heart for years. Finally, Obachan accepted Jesus into her heart. As she lifted her head and opened her eyes, the look of total peace on her face said it all.
“They…they’re gone! Colleen, Jesus is real. I just want to obey Him.” My grandmother’s pale face lit up the hospital room as she smiled weakly.
One of our family’s biggest nightmares ended up also being one of our biggest answers to prayer. And although my grandmother passed away only one short day later, none of us have any fear that we will be reunited in heaven. In fact, because of John 14:15 we have no doubt about it.
John 14:15 shows us one of the simplest ways to be sure that you are truly a child of God.
Do you have a burning desire to obey God? Do you want to make Him happy? Are you bothered by the things you know bother God? Are you willing to work on your weaknesses because you know that doing this pleases Him?
God isn’t surprised by our imperfections. He knows that we humans will never be flawless. This is why God sent His Son. Jesus came not only to die for our sins but to also give us a living example of how we ought to live.
If you claim to be a child of God, my question is: Are you obeying His commandments? If not, you might want to ask yourself another question: Whom are you serving? Whatever your answer is, that is your god.
“Dear Heavenly Father,
I have called you my god countless times in the past. But, when I really think about it, the person I actually serve and worship the most is myself.
If actions speak louder than words, I know the truth about where you stand in my life.
Lord, I have been so selfish for so long, I can’t imagine how I will ever be any different. But, there is a verse that claims this: “With God anything is possible.” I believe the word of God is THE TRUTH. So, by faith I see that there is hope for me—with you.
I want you to be the first person I think about when I wake up and the last person I speak to before I go to bed.
I want to be so in love with you that I try to anticipate your desires. I want to serve others out of my love and gratitude for you.
I love you, Lord. I need to love you more. Show me what that means and how that will look in a tangible way in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Thank you for reading our weekly Christian devotional on verses: John 14:15
Please check back and see what we have for you next week!
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan