So we have talked in detail over the past several weeks about the importance of love and how we show it to one another. Let’s talk this week about showing our love to God. As scripture says, this is the most important commandment.
I know for me personally, there have been times that I have focused so hard on loving others that I have neglected loving God entirely. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to take God for granted. I tend to focus too much on the physical world and not enough on the Kingdom of Heaven.
So what does it look like to love God? It involves action on our part just like loving others. It involves spending time with God in prayer and reading His Word. But it also involves keeping His commandments. Look at what Christ tells us:
John 12:26: Jesus says, “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”
John 14:15: Jesus tells his disciples plainly, “If you love me you will keep my commandments”.
John 15:10: Jesus says, “if you keep my commandments you will abide in my love and I will abide in you”
In all four Gospels, Jesus tells us that if we love Him we will follow His commandments. In Luke 14:27, Christ says, “whoever does not bear his own cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Pretty straight forward. Christ says the same in Mark 8:34. So what are His commandments? While I have seen different articles in print and on Christian websites listing the “Commandments of Christ”, a great place to look for them is the Sermon on the Mount. It can be found in Matthew Chapters 5, 6, and 7. In this sermon (perhaps His most famous), Christ describes what we look like when we abide in Him and follow His commandments:
- We become a light to others
- We are peacemakers
- We show empathy for and mourn with others
- We repent from pride and arrogance
- We seek justice and hunger for righteousness
- We are merciful
- We do not harbor malice in our heart
- We are not lustful or covetous
- We do not divorce except for in the case of infidelity
- We keep our word
- We are generous and give to others in secret
- We do not retaliate, but rather reconcile ourselves to others if possible
- We love our enemies
- We pray. Just us and God
- We forgive without conditions
- We are disciplined
- We make Gods Kingdom more important than ours
- We are not anxious and trust that God will provide
- We are not hypocritical and we do not judge others
- We ask God for answers and trust that He will give them
- We treat others as we would like to be treated
- We choose what is right according to Gods word, not according to what is easy
- We bear fruit for Gods Kingdom
While I know there are more commandments of Christ spread throughout the gospels, these are a great place to start. If you are like me, you read the above and think, “how will I ever be able to pull those off?”. Well …….. you can’t . Only one person ever has, and that was Christ Himself. The point is that we must REPENT and SUBMIT ourselves to His will. We must become servants to Him. That is how we love God. And the more we love Him, the more we become LIKE HIM. How cool is that? Over the next week I encourage you to read the Sermon on the Mount, pray about the commandments found in it and then test yourself. Are you loving God?