We define love in many ways. Is love an action, a feeling, or a mindset?
Though we may struggle with how to put into words the meaning of love, most will agree that true love requires sacrifice. The apostle John said it this way, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
So, when we think about loving God, our minds naturally go to the idea of sacrifice. Jesus gave his life for us, therefore we need to willingly give our lives for him. Unfortunately, when we assume that loving God requires only our ultimate sacrifice — martyrdom for our faith — our love remains theoretical. We guess, or hope, that we would willingly die rather than deny Christ, but most of us will never face that ultimatum.
Love for God does require sacrifice, but the sacrifice is not a “someday if” kind of thing. Rather, we demonstrate our love through daily obedience to God’s commands. We cannot say we love God if we refuse to obey his commands. Daily submission of our will to his will shows God the reality of our love for him.
But, don’t forget the last sentence of today’s verse! God’s commands are not burdensome. God’s good rules guide us into peace, fill us with purpose, and teach us contentment. And God himself, through the power of his Holy Spirit, gives us the power to obey.
Love for God is obedience to God. It’s that simple.
God, may my love for you show through my obedience. I surrender my way of thinking and accept your Word as truth. I submit my plans and my desires to you. Empower me through your Spirit to obey you. Amen.
Go Deeper — Do you equate obedience with love for God? If not, why not? Do you fear God’s will for you or embrace it, knowing it is good, agreeable, and perfect?
Photo Credit: Sam Manns