As we begin to understand what Jesus Christ has done for us, the only appropriate response is reverence, gratitude, and love for Him. If we seek Him with a sincere and honest heart, He offers mercy and forgiveness.
Jesus loved us even when we were standing in complete rebellion to Him – rejecting Him and despising Him.
1 John 4:19 WE love Him because He first loved us.
Isaiah 55:6-7 Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for Hi will abundantly pardon.
The real question, and the heart of the issue, is this: Are we sincere when we say that we love Jesus? Or do we just want a God to serve us, meet our needs, solve our problems, and fix our messes? Are we just expecting God to serve us, while we are fully intending to go right back to our sin? Or maybe we are sincere at the time, but then when we are tempted we choose to return to our sin.
Every time a follower of Christ sins, we are declaring by our actions that we love our sin more than we love our Savior.
We can’t really love someone we don’t know. We can’t just know of them, know about them, or know them a little bit. We must come to know the essence of who they are, their character, and their trustworthiness. We will never fully know God in this life, but God has revealed everything we need to know about Him to us in His Word. If we are going to come to know Him, we must spend time in His Word. Do we even care enough to spend the time reading His Word to get to know Him?
Jesus loves us with sacrificial love. A love that is an exercise of the will. A deliberate choice to sacrifice for the good of the person who is loved. A genuine love that is displayed through action. Do we love Him, the Jesus of the Bible, in that same way? Are we willing to sacrifice for Him?
Jesus gave us a very easy way to determine if our love for Him is genuine.
John 14:15 [Jesus] “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
Why is our obedience so important to Jesus that He directly connects it to our love for Him?
John 14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
To be manifest means to be plain, open, clearly visible to the eye or obvious to the understanding; apparent; not obscure or difficult to be seen or understood. Would you like Jesus to “make Himself plain” to you? Do you see the connection? If we want to have Jesus making Himself obvious to us… it is directly ties to our obedience to Him
This concept is repeated in John 14:23-24, John 15:10, 1 John 5:2-3, and many other places. The inescapable truth of Scripture is that our obedience TO God is the evidence of our love FOR God. And the opposite is true as well – our disobedience to God is the evidence of our lack of love for God.