“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
Is the proof of love obedience or willing servitude, is it the performance of the expected routine, or the action of additional items?
I would suspect that if you are employed for financial gain that you obey your employers’ commands, but not out of a love for them, you do what you are told, and perhaps at times that little extra, but you would not continue there if they did not pay you.
Our opening verse is not a commandment, but a call to action that can only be made by a personal choice through our own free will. To keep every though captive for Christ, to love your neighbor as yourself, to keep your body under subjection, these and many more are in one form commandments from the Lord, we are not to choose whether or not we want to obey them, we are told to. Love is a choice, and those things that we do for others and solely for the glory of God can only be done by our own volition, by a conscience decision of our own free will.
We obey because we need to or we want to, no one obeys because they have to, there is always another option in that regard.
“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” (2nd Thess. 3:10) The choice is clear, work or starve to death.
“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3) Again, a clear choice, acknowledge and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as the only means to salvation, believing all the Scriptures say of Him, or be eternally damned.
Obeying in love is an action of both the mind and the body, it is the performance of a deed, it is words spoken aloud to others, it is a life devoid of self, recognizing the Sovereignty of the Almighty in the grace that has been given to us and devoting our lives in accordance to His will.
Love sat at the rich man’s gate waiting for crumbs, love went out and wept bitterly after denying Him three times, and then spoke boldly about His glory, love built an ark, believed God and that belief was counted as righteousness, love went to the cross for you.
Does love lead you to church every Sunday morning? Does it compel you to pick up His Word and seek His face, does it place within you a desire to help your neighbor to see the truth of those words within that Holy Book?
Love for the Lord Jesus Christ compels my beautiful wife to not only take gospel tracts with her nearly every time she steps out of our house, but to choose the appropriate ones she wants to place in a specific spot. It drives me to pick up this pen several times a week, to sit for untold hours making short videos. Those who have been crucified with Christ obey Him for one reason only, because we love Him who first loved us, because we understand the word “grace,” not because we have been commanded to.
“So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10)
Repeating the words offered, getting baptized, attending church on a regular basis while adhering to all of its precepts, regulations and traditions, writing letters and handing out gospel tracts will not do it my friends, unless all we do is because of our love for the Lord Jesus Christ, and for the glory of God.
The majority of those who will say on that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matt. 7:22) do not realize these truths today, I pray that you do.