Early in our marriage, my husband and I took his younger brother, Daniel, out to eat pizza. While we were ordering, I noticed that Daniel had brought a small toy car and was rolling it along the table. Gradually the car’s “road trips” moved farther along the table’s borders. When I noticed Daniel on all fours, driving the car across the restaurant’s rather unsanitary floor, I instructed him to get up off the floor. He looked at me in wide-eyed amazement, and with total sincerity replied, “I’m not on the floor!”
My husband and I often laugh as we recall that scene of childish obstinacy. It reminds us of our own behavior many times. How often I say the words, “I love You, Lord” while my actions deny that statement. Words have meaning. When my actions contradict my words, it invalidates my speech.
Jesus gave us the prescription for demonstrating our love for God when He told us, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
Love for God is directly linked with obedience to Him. I’ve found that obedience, although difficult at times, comes far more easily when I focus on His love for me. When I focus on His enormous love and gracious mercy toward me, it compels me to respond in obedience. This is how Paul described it,
“For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).
Out of gratitude for His substitutionary death and His great demonstration of love toward me, I desire to return His love by walking in obedience to Him.
What do you think? Does love equal obedience? How is God asking you to obey Him out of love today?