Sunday, June 9, 2013

Do You Really Love Him?

"If you love Me, keep My commandments.                       John 14:15  NKJV
Most of us have, at one time or another experienced the joy that comes from knowing someone loves us.  I am equally sure that most of us would agree that there is no greater feeling than to know someone cares about us in a loving way.  Just this weekend I was doing some house cleaning and came upon an envelope in which I had placed many of the little notes that I received over the years from all three of my daughters.  The notes were written on different occasions, mostly when I had to travel for different reasons, but they all had one thing in common and that was that they all expressed their love for me.

As I sat and thought about those years, I began to remember all the little things that they had done as they were growing up in order to show their love for me.  Some were big, some were small, but the one thing they all had in common was that whatever it was, it was demonstrative.  In other words, they were not content to just say they loved me, but rather they wanted to show me they did by doing something they knew I would enjoy.  I think it would be fair to say we would all agree that when we truly love someone it is a natural desire to want to do something in order to show that person just how much we care.  It also stands to reason that we would seek to know the person well enough to give them something we know they would want and enjoy.

Obviously as believers we should have the desire to demonstrate our love for our Heavenly Father in ways that we know would please Him.  In the passage above from the book of John, Jesus tells us just what God wants from those who claim to love Him, and that is obedience to His Word.  In this chapter, as well as the next, Jesus repeatedly explains that what God wants most, and expects, is that those who claim to love Him follow His commandments.
"He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." John 14:21  NKJV

Jesus makes it clear that the proof of our love for the Father is the desire to please Him by knowing and following His commandments.  So how logical does it seem that many today believe the greatest threat to the Church is the attack on the authority of the Scriptures?  It should come as no surprise considering we are shown exactly how Satan works by looking at what happened in the Garden of Eden.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; "but of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.' "Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die.                             Genesis 3:1-4  NKJV

In other words, God said it, but He really didn’t mean it?  How often today do we hear those same words or something similar when the Word of God commands a certain course of action which the world may find objectionable?  More and more today we see examples of the Church compromising on certain commandments we find in the Word in order to be “politically correct”.  As believers though, the question the Church should be asking is simply this; “do you really love Him”?  If you truly love someone your concern is how best to show them your love in a way that they would appreciate.  When it comes to our relationship with God, He has already made it clear how best to please Him.
"If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.                                  John 15:10  NKJV

I think the key word in this passage, and the answer to how best know what God expects is contained in the word “abide”.  In the Greek the word is meno which means to sojourn, abide in or tarry, or continue to be present.  In other words, by striving to keep God’s commandments we are pleasing Him, and as a result are able to live our lives in a relationship with our Father in which He can manifest His love for us just as we do for Him.  I like how David describes the relationship we can have with our Father if we seek to please Him in this way.
ALEPH. Blessed [are] the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the LORD! Blessed [are] those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart! They also do no iniquity; They walk in His ways. You have commanded [us] To keep Your precepts diligently. Oh, that my ways were directed To keep Your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed, When I look into all Your commandments.              Psalms 119:1-6  NKJV

Do you really love Him?  Are you trying to please Him, or please yourself?  You see, that is what it really all comes down to.  We either do what we know is pleasing to God, or we choose to do what pleases us.  My daughters looked for ways to make me happy, either by writing little notes or doing things for me they knew I would like.  That was their way of showing me they loved me.  Are you looking for ways to show God you love Him?  You do that by studying His Word and keeping His commandments.
"But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say?         Luke 6:46  NKJV

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