On the way to work yesterday I heard Steve Green singing “The Mission.” I’ve been thinking about the opening phrase in the chorus:
To love the Lord our God is the heartbeat of our mission
What does it mean to love the Lord our God? How do we show that we love Him? How do others know that we love Him?
Jesus tells us in His upper room discourse in the gospel of John. In John 14 He tells the disciples several times that love is shown through obedience.
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15
There is great benefit in keeping His commandments and abiding by His word.
He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him. John 14:21
Jesus teaches that those who love Him keep His commandments – and as a result, the Father will love us, Jesus will love us, and Jesus will disclose Himself to us!
But, wait! It gets even better.
Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. John 14:23
The Father and Jesus will make their abode with us, when we keep His word. The Greek word for abode is monē and means staying, abiding, dwelling, a residence. So when we love Jesus by keeping His word, He and the Father will make their residence with us!
I think the most powerful indication of obedience as an indicator of love comes a few verses later in John.
But so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. John 14:31
Jesus says that He does as the Father commands Him, so that the world may know that He loves the Father. His obedience to the Father shows the world that He loves Him.
And how much did He love Him? His obedience took Him to the cross for our sins.
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:8
As this hymn so eloquently says, Jesus calls us. He asks us to follow, and to love Him more than the world which we are prone to worship. He asks us to love Him more than other things around us, more than we love other people around us. We must give our hearts in full obedience to Him. By our obedience, we show that we love Him best of all.
Jesus Calls Us
Words by Cecil F. Alexander
Jesus calls us over the tumult
Of our life’s wild, restless, sea;
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
Saying, “Christian, follow Me!”
Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store,
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, “Christian, love Me more!”
In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love Me more than these!”
Jesus calls us! By Thy mercies,
Savior may we hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thine obedience,
Serve and love Thee best of all.