It is because you are afraid of God? Certainly, there have been times when somebody says something particularly stupid about God that I have said, “Wait just a minute while I step over here so that I will not get in the way of the lightning bolt that is getting ready to come down upon you.” And I certainly believe that for God’s love to be real, so must His wrath be real.
But, as believers, we obey the commandments of God because we love God and we want to please Him, and we can do that because the question of our salvation, or eternal life, has already been settled by our faith in Christ. This means that our obedience is because we love God.
Why do you obey the laws of the various governments and employers that God has placed in authority over you?
Because you are afraid of the consequences? Perhaps, but our lessons over the last several weeks would say that the believer is to obey the laws of man because we love God, and we want to please Him. Right?
Why are you committed to being faithful to your spouse? Certainly it is because we love them, but more importantly, we love God, and we want to glorify Him by the way that we love our spouse.
So in each case, it is our love of God that is the motive behind our obedience. Not fear, but love.
So how do we show the people who we meet in the world around us that we love them?
The answer is the same as it was for the other three questions I just asked, we show our neighbors that we love them by obeying God’s commandments. The Lord Jesus simplified this for us by saying that if we obeyed just two commandments, all of the others would just fall into place.
The first was to love God with all of our heart, with all of our soul, with all of our mind, and with all of our strength, and the second was to love our neighbor as ourselves.
This is what our lesson is about today, our love of God, and how we show that love.