Anyone who’s studied God’s instructions on Christian living knows they’re not easy. To love God more than anything? To love everyone as much as I love myself? Even you-know-who from work? Nothing is harder than obeying those two commands.
So why would you? Here’s Paul’s answer: “For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:2). Paul’s reason for obeying God’s instructions comes down to a single title—“the Lord Jesus.”
It’s easy to miss the implications of that name. The title Lord means that Jesus gets the last word. He’s the master, the general, the coach, and the king. We’re the servants, the soldiers, the players, and the citizens. That’s the blunt reality behind Christian obedience. Jesus is God, and you are not. So do what he says!
But there’s more to that title. Do you know what the name Jesus means? It means, “He saves.” Jesus’ very name implies that he rescues you from danger. In other words, Jesus is not just bossing you around. He wants to bless you. He gifted you his life, his perfection, so that even while you’re working hard to obey God’s commands, you’re already covered in God’s compassion.
There’s nothing more motivating than pure, undeserved love. That’s exactly what we find behind and before all the commands of Christianity. We obey because our Lord’s name is Jesus. He saves!