John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”
Finally, the one fruit of the Spirit that binds all the others together is love, for without love we are nothing and anything we do is pointless and fruitless (1Cor 13:2-3). It is God’s love that binds everything together. As we mature in Christ, God’s love should become evident in our lives. It is not the superficial love this world knows, based on ‘mushy’ feelings and being self-focussed, butrather a sacrificial love that would put others ahead of themselves. A love that gives without expecting anything in return. A love that perseveres despite the hardest of trials. A love that is patient, kind and gentle, always looking to build up, and not cut down. A love that does not seek revenge or is out to harm others. God’s love is the most precious of all jewels, and it resides in all those who call on Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
As I have matured as a Christian, I am continually amazed by how much God loves me. Our obedience to God is the outpouring of His love within us. We don’t primarily obey God to show we love Him, but rather it’s our obedience that reflects God’s love within us. God’s love, unlike ours is constant. His saving love is always present to those who have trusted them selves to Him, no matter how much we may stuff up as we persevere. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve stumbled and gone at it my own way, instead of trusting and following God. However every time He has firmly, yet gently guided me back to His ‘good’ path, encouraging and equipping me to push on. The more I have grown, the more I am humbled by the incredibly forgiving heart of God. No matter what I have done, God’s love for me has not changed or dissipated. That inspires me to live for Him, to follow His lead. I have realised that to obey God is not to be bogged down by following a bunch of rules, but to be free to live as He intended, and experience the amazing peace and joy that goes with walking with God! At those times I really ask myself why I wandered off in the first place!!
Of course the journey is a bumpy one. As we learn how to love as God’s children, we discover how foreign it is to our sinful nature. However that is why it’s the ultimate proof that we are maturing as Christians, that God’s love resides within us in the form of the Holy Spirit. God’s love in our lives will be reflected by how we live and what our priorities are each day. As we walk with God, He will transform us and His love will become more evident to us and to those around us. Our hearts will turn from sin and be drawn to purity and seeking the truth in the Bible. Our restlessness and anxieties will be transformed into patience and peace. Our recklessness and pride will move aside for gentleness and humility. Anger will be extinguished by a quiet and calm soul. Edification will replace condemnation. To witness and experience the transforming power of God’s love in our lives is the most precious gift we can be given and is the absolute proof that God is active within us!
How is God’s love evident in your life? What is your attitude to obeying God? What does that say about the strength of your personal relationship with Him? Let’s allow God’s love to consume our lives, cutting ourselves off from anything that tries to take us away from our loving Father. If we do that we will experience first hand a pure, strong and tender love that will never fail.