What defines Love?
How do you show love to your husband or wife? How does a child demonstrate love toward their parents?
Is it merely belief?
Taking this one step further, how do I demonstrate my love for Christ?
What if I told my husband I just believe that I love you, would that be enough?
My love for my husband is not merely defined by my belief, in that I love him, but more so by my obedience in my love. You're probably saying wait a moment - but obedience is not just subordination, it's an attitude of the heart. My obedience is (attitude of my heart) in talking with him daily, respecting, spending time together, cultivating new interests, listening...the list goes on.
And the second example, a child to a parent demonstrates love by following directions, showing respect, listening, and in general being obedient...
The bible tells us that we demonstrate love for Christ in these same ways. It is not enough to just say "I believe in Him." The bible urges us to follow his commandments, and in following His commandments we demonstrate the ultimate Love - obedience. God knows we have a choice, that is free will to choose how we conduct ourselves daily. But in Love for Him we choose to follow him with obedience.
Repeatedly we are told to Love the Lord:
Luke 10:27 (New International Version)
27He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself."
37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
And again in Mark
30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'
Mark 12: 28 - 30
28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
29"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'
So how do you show Love to the Lord?
5 ...keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul."
23Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.
17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
This kind of attitude of the heart is something I have to work at everyday. It's not easy, the selfish, the I, wants to be first. But this type of love is worth working for.
In the end, we are doing His will or we aren't. There is no in between. And we can see examples from the bible that show us the consequences our decisions.
When we are obedient to the word and show our love, God's love is made complete as seen in 1 John 2:5-6 below.
1 John 2:5-6
5But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
So what are these commandments He asks us to obey? What did Jesus' walk look like?