If I expect to experience God’s love, there are conditions.
While it is certainly true that ‘God is love,’ his being love and my experiencing that love are not the same thing.
In John 14:21 Jesus said, “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (NIV)
Therein lies the condition; that I will keep the commands of God. My obedience to his commands will confirm my love for him. In turn, the Father, God, will love me, as will Jesus Christ himself.
This Scripture verse is sobering.
I sin each day.
I am not obedient. While I do have the commands, I do not often keep them.
I do love the Lord, but….maybe not enough? Maybe I love my ways more.
Perhaps I let worldly ways interfere with my daily walk, my commitment, to the Lord. Could it be that I don’t take Scripture seriously enough, or is it simply that I feel secure in my salvation, and that is enough for me?
Is it enough for me to skimp by on my little faith? Do I believe I will confidently stand in front of the Lord someday, knowing my heart was far from him and yet still expect him to welcome me?
Is it not possible for me to try harder?
Is he not willing – eager – to help me? To give me the strength I need in order to follow him more closely? Will he not answer my prayer and provide me with this strength?
I am left without excuse. I am left knowing I am willingly being disobedient. I expect him to do more than he has already done.
My God offered his beloved Son. My Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered beatings and humiliation. His hands were nailed to the cross where he hung, in agony; where he died…for me.
What is left to be done? That is love in its fullness.
John 14:15-17, “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (NIV)
Jesus provided a way for me to be obedient to him. I need to put forth more effort and turn to the Holy Spirit; he is my helper; he can accomplish what I cannot.
Lord Jesus, fill me today with your Holy Spirit. Help me to be obedient to you; empower me to overcome the world and its ways and help me to glorify you. In your name I pray. Amen.