[Jesus said], “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15
“Do you love God?” To good Christian folk this question seems to have an obvious answer, of course we love God. But in order to truly answer this question in faith, perhaps sometimes it is good to ponder the opposite question; “Does God love you?” If you answer “Yes,” what evidence can you point to that says specifically, Gods loves you?
Yesterday I shared some thoughts concerning God’s rescuing of His people from bondage. Such mighty acts of mercy and grace are performed by an all-powerful, all-loving God. We read about God’s deliverance in Exodus and then are reminded of His great love as we read in John’s gospel, “For God so loved the world…” (John 3:16). In fact, throughout Holy Scripture we are reminded of God’s love for His people, especially as we are witness to the many acts of love shown by our Lord Jesus. There is no doubt, God loves you. Thus, in response, the question of the day: “Do you love God?” And if you do, how do you show it? The answer to these questions can be found as we consider again the Ten Commandments.
God’s commandments are given in love to a world fallen into sin. It is because of human brokenness that God gifts us with means by which to show our love for Him and for our neighbor. Sadly, too many people view God’s commandments as a list of dos and don’ts, that if not followed one might incur the wrath of God. Yet, the commandments of God are not just another set of rules, nor is the Ten Commandments simply a divine governing document spelling out God’s expectations. We have enough of those on our own. God’s commandments are a means by which me may show our love for God and for our neighbor.
Is it the marriage license that keeps husbands and wives together? Is it the set of classroom rules that fosters learning for children in school? And what of churches? Are we bound together by charters and constitutions, or is there something else that keeps us in relationship with one another? Yes there is, the answer to all of these is love.
Without love, the marriage license is simply a legal agreement to share assets and space. Without love, classroom rules are merely the criteria by which teachers exercise authority. And without love, even church constitutions and charters are reduced to a set of rules that all too often get in the way of real mission and ministry. In all of these, we need to understand that it is love, specifically the love of God in Christ Jesus that holds us in relationship with one another, because it is love that keeps us in relationship with God.
In order to see God’s love expressed in the Ten Commandments, simply look at the example of Jesus Christ. Jesus, the fulfillment of God’s law, embodies the commandments in their fullest sense. In the fulfillment of the Law, we find the Gospel. Through the Gospel we realize the fullness of God’s love. Jesus said, “If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love… love your neighbor as I have loved you.”
Today, give thanks to the great love God has for you. Pray also, for the strength to keep His commandments, so that through the love you show others, they too may come to know the fullness of God’s love through Christ Jesus.