The Proof of Love
This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome. (1 John 5:3)
Ask yourself this question, “How do you love God?”
What’s your answer? What do you think Jesus’ Answer is? Check this out!
“If you love me, keep my commands.”
Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
“Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
So how does Jesus tell us to love him? We are told to Obey His laws.
Now, this is a new concept for me. I always knew I was to obey his laws but I just thought that was out of respect but not as a sign of love. I guess I never thought about it. It makes complete sense though. As we listen to God it shows Him that we love Him. It’s just like our earthly parents. If we listen to them it shows that we respect them and also shows them we love them. When we disobey them it is a sure sign of distrust and the love isn’t always there. So as we obey God we show Him our love.
But there are so many laws! How are we suppose to follow them all?
Well Jesus summed up all the laws with a command. He said to Love God and Love others as yourself. He also said as we love others we love God. So this doesn’t sound too hard.
We need to understand that all the laws are summarized with love. As long as we love others and love God more than anything we won’t be cheating on our wife, killing others, or doing bad things. Before I go into what Love is I wanted to talk a little bit about why we are given the law.
So first off it is to glorify God. But it is also for us to live the best possible life. Every law regarding morality will let us live a better life. Like don’t kill your neighbor, okay I can see why that’s a law. Don’t have an affair, sounds orderly. So the laws are used to keep us in order. But hold up –someone might say. I thought we were done with the law. I thought we lived by grace and not by the law. I get loving God but do I really have to wait until marriage to have sex?
Yeah you do. Well you don’t have to but it’s to honor and Love God. And we are Free from the law. But in America we live in a Free Country, yet we still have laws. We still need to follow the laws! But with God, Jesus paid for all of our sins. We don’t have to pay for them! This is wonderful news. And from his love we should be compelled to love Him!
God’s grace does not change the fundamental character of God’s moral law. Rather, the grace of God provides for the forgiveness and acceptance of those who have broken the law. The good news of the gospel is that god has removed the guilt we incur by breaking His law and has bestowed on us the righteousness of Christ, who perfectly kept His law.
We obey God’s law, not to be loved, but because we are loved in Christ.
If obedience to God’s law is optional, then in our minds we begin to accumulate merit or extra points. “after all, we didn’t have to obey, so we must gain some merit by voluntary obedience.”
So what is love? If you kill someone and vouch that you wanted them to meet God sooner will not be a good display of love! We need to find out what Love actually is. The Corinthians letters help!
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
And let’s also look at Leviticus 19:11-18
11 “‘Do not steal.
“‘Do not lie.
“‘Do not deceive one another.
12 “‘Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.
13 “‘Do not defraud or rob your neighbor.
“‘Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight.
14 “‘Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the LORD.
15 “‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.
16 “‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people.
“‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the LORD.
17 “‘Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt.
18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.
Now let’s put the two parts together!
Love does not steal, it does not lie, it does not deceive. Love does not profane God’s name. It does not defraud nor rob its neighbor. It does not hold the wages of a hired man overnight. Love does not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block in front of the blind.
Love does not pervert justice, nor show partiality to the poor or favorites to the great. Instead, it judges its neighbor fairly. Love does not slander another, nor do anything that endangers his life. Love does not hate its brother, nor seek revenge, nor bear a grudge, but rather treats its neighbor as itself.
Leviticus, here, also shows us who are neighbor is. Look back up to it and try to find all the characteristics of your neighbor.
To live by grace means we understand that God’s blessing on our lives is not conditioned by our obedience or disobedience but by the perfect obedience of Christ. It means that our of a grateful response to the grace of God, we seek to understand His will and to obey Him, not to be blessed, but because we have been blessed.