Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Loving God

When I was in high school I always wondered how I could show God that I loved him. I always came up with elaborate schemes that usually involved giving up something or some ritualistic proof of devotion. Thankfully, I've grown a little in my knowledge of the Bible since then. God is never out to confuse us. Many false religions are founded by people who are searching to please "god" by any method they can find. They sacrifice people, give daily offerings, and live their whole lives in fear of offending the gods. But God plainly tell us how we show Him that we love Him.
"If you love me, keep my commandments."  John 14:15
This same admonition is repeated in verses 21 and 23. Obedience is what shows God that we love Him. When we obey Him it's like we look at Him and say, "I love you, God!" If I tell my husband that I love him and ignore him, don't care for his needs, and always cut him down, he's not going to believe that I love him. If I tell my children that I love them and don't spend time with them, discipline them, or get to know them, how real is my love? Words really don't matter much, do they?

How must God feel when I claim to love Him and yet refuse to obey? When I am stubborn and demand to do things my way? God plainly tells me that if I love Him, I will obey His Word. Sometimes it's easier to look for other ways to prove our love, isn't it? As always, Jesus is our ultimate example. In John 14:31 Jesus states, "But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence." Even Jesus obeyed to prove His love for the Father. And He was on His way to the cross here. If Jesus can go to the cross to show His love for God, can I not obey in the things God asks of me?

And God blesses us for our obedience! He would be fully within His rights as God to demand our obedience and give us nothing in return. Instead He asks for our love and blesses us in return.

What God gets from our obedience: proof of our love- John 14:15, 21, 23-24

What we get from obedience: we abide in God's love- John 15:10
                                                we have full joy- John 15:11
                                                we have friendship with God- John 15:14

What an abundant God we have! He loves to shower blessings on us! I want those blessings God promises from obedience. And I want God to know that I love Him.

On a last note, Psalm 111:10 states that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." My pastor explained that the fear of the Lord equals obedience. As we obey what we know the Bible says, God will give us more wisdom (or more to obey.) When we stop obeying we stop growing. May my obedience prove my love for God, not only to Him, but also to others. A disobedient Christian is a poor testimony to a lost world! What powerful motivation is found for obedience!

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