When I was a young boy, my mom warned me that I should never play with fire. Yet one day I decided to see what would happen if I did. Taking a book of matches and some paper, I went out into the backyard to experiment. With heart beating fast, I knelt on the ground, struck the match, and set the paper aflame.
Suddenly I saw my mother approaching. Not wanting to get caught, I put my legs over the flames to hide what I was doing. But Mom shouted, “Denny, move your legs! There’s a fire underneath them!” Fortunately, I moved my legs quickly enough and was not burned. I realized then that my mother’s rule about not playing with fire was not to spoil my fun but because of her concern to keep me safe.
Sometimes we don’t understand the reasons behind God’s commands. We may even think He is a cosmic killjoy, setting up rules and regulations to keep us from enjoying ourselves. But God asks us to obey Him because He has our best interests at heart. As we obey, we “remain in his love” and are filled with joy (John 15:10-11).
So when God warns us not to sin, He does it for our own good. He really wants to protect us from “playing with fire” and getting burned.
Dear heavenly Father, may Your Holy Spirit empower us to obey Your Word. We thank You for the protection Your precepts provide and the love and joy we find in obeying You.
God gives us loving warnings in His Word to protect us.
Jesus used the words servants and friends to show the level of intimacy and the great privileges and responsibilities believers have with Him (v. 15). A true friend is “one in spirit” with you (see 1 Sam. 18:1) and would sacrifice his life for you (John 15:13). A friend of Jesus does whatever He commands (v. 14), but “a friend of the world” is an enemy of God (James 4:4). Sim Kay Tee