What is love? Keeping God’s commandments.
All around us we are bombarded with messages from the world about how we should love others, as people who follow Christ. Their voices have become overwhelming, and we’ve lost sight of turning to the true authority. We’ve sought the world’s approval by following their call to conformity.
But this love does not satisfy. It leads to emptiness. It carries us to destruction. The Lord is the only one who has given us the perfect example in Himself of what it means to love.
Christ teaches us to love by loving us perfectly. And, because He loves, He calls us out of the comfortableness of sin to draw us closer to Himself. He sets our world on fire, burning away everything that is not of Him, so that only He remains. He sees us where we are, but He never approves of the ways we have clung to this world. His call is radical: leave behind our old selves, follow Him, and be transformed.
In this, we’ve also been given an invitation not just to follow, but to love God. How do we, as imperfect people, go deeper than gratitude to truly love? Christ told us that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments.
1 John 5 explains it in an undeniable way. To love God means to follow His commandments, which are designed for our good. But it does not stop there. If we love God’s children, we will follow His commandments. We are able to show love to our brothers and sisters in Christ by pursuing how God has called us to live, and spurring each other on to do the same. Not only this, but it is how we will KNOW, how we show the world, that we truly love those around us. It perfectly mirror’s Christ’s love for us: drawing us away from our old selves so that we can be transformed through Christ.
If we want to love others well, we must love God and follow His commandments – no matter how uncomfortable, inconvenient, or counter-cultural it may be.