As I said in my first article this week, I’m trying to answer the question, “How do you express love for God?”
Jesus tells us very simply:
If you love me, keep my commands. John 14:15 NIV
Copying Jesus, living exactly as He tells us to live, is a clear demonstration of our love for Him.
Obedience Equals Love
The Bible is extremely clear on this. Look at how this truth is affirmed numerous times:
Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. John 14:21 NLT
Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word.”
John 14:23 ESV
In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3 NIV
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands.
2 John 1:6 NIV
You think He’s trying to tell us something here?
It just doesn’t get much plainer than this. In essence, God says, “Obedience equals love.”
God wants what’s best for us. This is why His commands are not burdensome. Providing clear guidance for how to live the best life possible is one of the ways that God shows that He loves us. He provides boundaries to protect us from harm. In return, we express our love for Him by trusting in His Word and following Him.
We Love Our Father in Obedience
There is a reason that God is called, “Our Father in heaven”. He helps us understand how He operates by relating Himself to something we all know well – the parent-child relationship.
As a parent myself, I understand God’s point on how obedience equals love.
Sure, I appreciate hugs and affection from my kids, but all that feels sort of empty if they don’t back it up with their actions.
So, as a father, I’m no different than God. I feel loved by my children when they obey what I tell them to do.
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22 NLT
We can give lip service all day long about how we love God. We can go to church, listen to worship music, read our Bibles, BUT if we don’t keep His commands, does it all really mean anything?
We want our children to obey us so they can be safe, happy, prosperous and productive. God is no different.