Our Love For God Tested

“The one who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will reveal Myself to him.”
John 14:21 (NASB)

“We love, because He first loved us.”
1 John 4:19 (NASB)

“By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him…”
1 John 2:3-4 (NASB)

We first enjoy love as small children when we experience our needs faithfully met by our parents. Their devotion to us makes for a very strong bond and draws our love toward them in return. Parents love their children before the child does anything to earn that love. Children are the recipients of unearned love. They are loved because they are the result of their parents love for each other.

Love is a most powerful motive when it comes to behaviour. Our Lord connected our love for Him to our obedience to His commandments. In 21st century evangelical Christianity we have a school of thought which suggests we can accept Jesus as Saviour and later, as believers, bow to Him as Lord. This heresy contradicts the Scripture, which tells us that it is only when we confess Him as Lord will we be saved (Romans 10:9). Jesus is nothing to us if not as doubting Thomas confessed in the presence of his resurrected Master, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).

The Good Shepherd made clear the crucial evidence of obedience as the mark of anyone being His sheep when He said, “My sheep hear my voice and they follow me. They will not follow the voice of strangers but will flee from them.” (John 10:3-5). John also states the same truth in 1 John 2:3-4. The proof we have that we love the Saviour is our obedience to His will for us. If we say we love Jesus but are not following Him, we are liars according to John. That is a blunt but inspired statement.

Reader, how does your love for Jesus measure up? Does it pass this test? Will you be welcomed into His eternal home with the words, “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Matthew 25:23)? Or will He say to you, “Depart from me… I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:23)?

Every person needs to examine their heart to be sure their love for the Lord is genuine. “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith…” (2 Cor. 13:5)

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sov’reign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
’Tis all that I can do.

- Isaac Watts

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