In my last post, I wrote about love. Specifically, I wrote about love in the way that the Apostle John speaks of love in 1 John. He says that the perfect picture of love is Christ on the cross, and that this love should compel us to love others.
In 2 John, the apostle takes another angle in the love discussion. He says this in verse 6:
And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.
What is love?
That we walk according to the commandments of God.
How do we know if we love God?
by walking in His commandments.
It seems more complicated than that doesn’t it? Or maybe, we want it to be more complicated. This definition of love for God is simple and terrifying. It is simple because hardly anyone would misunderstand it’s meaning, and it is terrifying because of what it actually means.
It means we actually have to obey God.
We cannot say we love God and then do whatever we please, just like I can’t say I love my wife and then go sleep around. My actions reveal my true nature. If I love God, then I will do what He says. We would really like to think that there is some other way, wouldn’t we? Because we know what the Bible calls us to do.
It calls us to self sacrificing love, as I said yesterday.
It calls us to humble ourselves.
It calls us to lay aside our feelings of entitlement.
It calls us to trust in the Lord, not our money and talents and strength and wisdom.
It calls us to abstain from sexual immorality and gossip and greed and lying and cheating.
It calls us to be holy in everything we do.
In other words, God’s commands are too great for us to keep. Therefore, if we are to love Him, we must trust in Christ. John says it this way in verse 9:
Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
We have to weigh carefully which one we are. Are we abiding in the teachings of Christ, joyfully keeping his commands, or are we not? That is the measure of our love for the Lord. We must lean on Jesus. He perfects our obedience, He sanctifies our minds and hearts, and He makes our lives worthy of loving and being loved by the God of the universe.