Friday, July 31, 2009

How Do We Know If We Really Love Him or Not?

How do we know if we really love the L-rd?

The "litmus test", if you will, is as Jesus instructed His disciples in John 14:15:

"If ye love Me, keep My commandments."

The L-rd reiterated this important injunction again in verse 21:

"He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me:
and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father,
and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him."

That's pretty straight-forward, isn't it? Of course, the L-rd knows our hearts, whether we love Him or not. But He also knows that there will be evidence of our love! And too, how do we know that someone loves the L-rd, unless we see the evidence for it?

How is our love for our spouse, for our children evidenced? We desire to please them, don't we? We do things for them, care for their needs, spend time with them. We nurture those very precious relationships!

What if your spouse or children seldom considered you or your feelings in regard to how they lived or the decisions they made? What if they gave little notice or recognition for the things you did for them? Would you feel loved? Could they even convince you that they loved you?

When we see children neglected, we determine that they are not loved.

Contrast that with how we show our love for our L-rd!

How can we say we love the L-rd if we neglect Him, and neglect to obey Him?

Sadly, I believe most of us fall very
short in this area. We put more thought and effort into the pursuit of our own happiness than we do the L-rd's. Our prayer life consists of a request list pages long, while giving little thought to what we can do for His good pleasure!

We are such selfish creatures. But you know, the word L-O-V-E does not have an "I" in it!

The proof of our love for the L-rd is in our obedience to Him, denying ourselves!

Notice the very precious promise if we keep G-d's commandments, thereby loving Him:

We will be loved by the Father and the L-rd Jesus will manifest Himself to us.

Wow---did you get that? The more love we show the L-rd by our obedience to Him, the more He reveals of Himself to us.

But doesn't that make sense? The more love someone shows us, the more we want to be with them, and the more we are willing to be "vulnerable" and share ourselves with them---right?

Except, it seems, when it comes to the L-rd. He showers His blessings upon us---over and above giving us our salvation; He proves His love to us every day! But we go merrily on our way, oblivious to the things of the L-rd, so caught up in our jobs, duties, pleasures, that we have little time for the L-rd!

Are you getting as convicted as I am about now??

Later on in verses 23, 24, the L-rd continues to explain about this cause and effect regarding loving and obeying:

"....If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and my Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

He that loveth Me not keepeth not my sayings...."

Boy, the L-rd doesn't mince words---pretty clear, huh?!!

The L-rd Jesus is very clear in spelling out the fact that if we do not obey Him, we do not love Him.

But, hey----we can't obey God's Word if we don't know what He says in it!
Daily Bible reading---really taking time to hear from the L-rd---is essential in being obedient to Him!

In Matthew 7:16 Jesus advised His disciples regarding others who claim to be of G-d,
"Ye shall know them by their fruits."

Verses 17-21 expand on this statement:

"Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit;
but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit,
neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down,
and cast into the fire.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Not everyone that saith unto Me, L-rd, L-rd,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."

There is no middle ground, no gray area here. We know if we love the L-rd, and we know if others love the L-rd, if our/their fruit----the way we/they talk, the things we/they do, the beliefs and attitudes we/they have----line up with G-d's Word!

If someone loves the L-rd, they will be living and obeying G-d's Words.

It's as simple as that!

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