Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Love that Leads to Obedience

Jesus said, "If you love me you will obey my commandments" and "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word." These are not conditional statements that are placing a demand. It does not mean "your obedience proves your love." It is a promise. It means "love will cause you to obey."

If you love your wife you won't leave her. However, the fact that you don't leave her doesn't mean that you love her. You don't prove your loving by just hanging around. But your staying with her is motivated by love. It is because of love that you stay with your wife. Likewise it is because of love that we obey God's commandments. You can however keep the rules and not even know God just like you can stay with your wife and not show her one bit of love. Obedience is just a fruit, an outward evidence, of inward love.
Obedience does not produce love. Love does produce obedience and it is God's love for us that produces our love for Him!

Love only exists in a relationship. Doing can be an expression of love but love comes from knowing not from doing.

The word Jesus uses for love describes a self-giving love. You only give yourself to someone you trust. The more you trust the more you are willing to give and share. Trust, or faith as it is often called in the Bible, is what opens the way to the growth of knowing, and loving, and giving. Trust means you consider God to be trustworthy enough to know, that He is truthful about Himself, and loving enough to be encountered.

Jesus commanded us to "love one another just as He has loved us." As John later wrote "We love because God first loved us." It is His love that shows us how to love. Jesus is essentially saying "I will love you so much that you will love one another, obey my commands, and my love will for you makes us friends. I will fulfill the requirement of loving. I chose you and chose to love you so much that you will love me and love others. I will be loving enough for the both of us. You will love because of me and you will love with my very own love."

Scriptures Referenced:
"If you love me you will obey my commandments" (John 14:15)
"If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word" (John 14:23)
"This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I loved you." (John 15:12)
"We love, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19)


  1. Very well said. I dont think I have been able to communicate this clearly with others before. I find this also sits very uncomfortablly with people because, at the heart of it, it places all the "doing" in Gods hands. Our strength is His strength, our love is his love. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Dear Brother Michael,

    I thank you for this blog. I just ran across this blog today on a Google search and I knew God wanted me to be here reading this post. I've been in a long bondage to legalism, even though God met me and saved me a while back. God has led me through many trials, persecutions, and temptations. Things became very burdensome and I felt as though I wasn't really paying the cost of discipleship. My own cowardice paralyzed me to go more forward with God. But now I started to realize that knowing God comes first and then the rest will naturally follow. It was hard for me to believe that God loved me because I didn't perform well. I felt that I did not submit to God enough or obeyed Him enough. But now I realized that I must know Him (John 17:3). To be alone in that quiet place before Him and seek Him until He comes.

    I was reading one of your posts called, "Christian Persecution & America" and you wrote, "One of the easiest things, knowing that God loves you and letting Him love you, has become one of the hardest things because the traditions, false teachings, & false authorities of mainstream American Christianity. Its sin focused, mixed covenant, cross-ignoring teachings already have people barely hanging onto, not God, but a false picture of God. A picture that paints God as an utterly selfish, human hating, Christian hating, nagging, shame exploiting, greedy, & abusive monster who treats them worse than probably anyone they know & is 1,000 times more easily offended than any human being to ever walk the earth." In all honesty, I do believe that God is a just God, but my problem was that I had a hard time believing in His love. I had a wrong image of God and therefore left me in so much guilt. Dear brother, thank you, and may the LORD reward you exceedingly when you hit Eternity with Him. God help me to realize that it is all in Christ! Christianity is CHRIST, as many great preachers have said!

    Brother, keep me in your prayers.

    God help us all....

    Your Servant in Jesus' Name,

    - Michael Liao (I know, my name is Michael too)

    1. Thanks for the comment. It came at a great time for me!
      I am so glad that you are discovering God's love!

      There are many of posts here that may help you but this one comes to mind,