“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
– John 14:15 (Jesus speaking)
The Lord measures our love for Him by the degree to which we keep His commandments. The first thing we have to realize is that His commandments are not too difficult for us to keep. The apostle John wrote:
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
– 1 John 5:3 (emphasis added)
On the same subject, Jesus Himself said, as we have read before:
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
– Matthew 11:28-30 (emphasis added)
Therefore, we should not think that keeping Jesus’ commandments is going to be more than we can handle.
Since keeping the Lord’s commandments is a doable thing, it’s completely reasonable for the Lord to regard the level of our obedience to Him as our level of love for Him.
It is also reasonable for the Lord to measure our love for Him in this way because you can tell who a man loves by observing whose interests he seeks. A man who seeks his own interests is a man who loves himself, while a man who seeks his family’s interests is a man who loves his family.
The Lord expresses His interests through His commandments. That is, He tells us clearly what He wants with His commands. Those commandments reveal to us that His interests are not in getting us to meet His needs, but rather that we should meet the needs of each other. For example, He commands:
…treat people the same way you want them to treat you…
– Matthew 7:12
“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies…”
– Matthew 5:43-44
and, at the end of His life, He said:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
Thus the Lord uses our love for Him to benefit not Himself, but others.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, Your virtue is revealed in how You use our love for You to help us…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)