|How do we know that God and His Son loves us? It is quite simple. Just read the Bible and you will see that it is, in many respects, a love letter to His creation - man. We see that the Bible is brimming with indications of love from God and Jesus Christ. Have you ever had a prayer answered? I have, and many times in an awesome way. Have you ever been delivered from what seemed like eminent danger. Again, I have on several occasions. These are also indications of God's love.|
But how does God and Jesus know that we love Them? Jesus told us how, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." (John 14:15) In this article I would like to share with you many of the commandments of Jesus, some that I feel, if we keep them, will show our love for Him. Now I don't mean this in the legalistic since, that you must do each of these or your soul is forever damned. But in the spiritual since, that by keeping these, it is an act of love for God and His Son. Nor do I mean them in the since that we must do these things in order to "guarantee" salvation. We are not talking about salvation in this article, we are talking about showing our love for God.
"... Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17) Being human, it is impossible to live a life free of sin. Even after we give our lives over to Jesus, all too often sin creeps in. Sin wreaks marriages and destroys lives. But the Bible tells us that if we will repent and ask for forgiveness of our sins, God is faithful to forgive us. Our daily prayers should include asking God for forgiveness for those areas in our lives where we fall short of the glory of the kingdom of God. I'm afraid that many Christians have the attitude that they have been forgiven for the "big sins," and they don't really do anything "all that bad," so they don't really need to ask God for forgiveness. I disagree! It's those "little things" that we do, that we shrug off as nothing, that begin to pile up in our conscience and begin to eat away at our relationship with God. Then, before we realize it, a "big" temptation comes along and the devil catches us off guard and unprepared to resist. The Bible also teaches us that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. However, to resist or not resist is still up to us. If we allow sin to creep into our lives, and continually fail to ask God's forgiveness, then when that "big" temptation comes along, we haven't prepared ourselves to resist. By repenting each day for our shortcomings, we show God that we want to remain close to Him, and that we love Him.
"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven." (Matthew 5:16) As you read the above scripture, don't get hung-up on "your good works." The real emphasis here is on "glorify your Father in Heaven." We must realize that without God, most (if not all) of what we are able to accomplish as Christians for the kingdom is impossible. But, we should strive to do those "good works" so that we can bring glory to our Heavenly Father. As we go about our lives seeking ways to help others in need, serving the Lord through our local congregations, and witnessing to the lost, we are bringing glory to God. People come to realize that we are doing these good works because we love God, and this brings Him glory.
"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you..." (Matthew 5:44) Probably one of the most difficult commands for us to follow, is to love our enemies. However, this is so important. The Bible goes on in this passage (see verses 46-48) and explains that if we love those who love us, we have really accomplished nothing. Even non-Christians do this. It is easy to love those who love us, but we really show our Christian fiber when we can suppress the natural inclination to hate our enemies and love and pray for them. By doing this, we put God first instead of ourselves and this shows our love for Him.
"But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly." (Matthew 6:6) Our prayer life is so important. It is through prayer that we tell our Heavenly Father all those things that we only want Him to hear. Please remember, God already knows everything about us. We can't keep secrets from Him. There are things in our lives that we can't talk about even with our closest friend, but we can talk to God about them. If we share all our troubles, joys, victories, fears, (in short everything) with God, we will begin to experience a wonderful love and closeness to Him. God wants us to be free to carry everything to Him in prayer.
"But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal." (Matthew 6:20) There are many stories around that talk about what heaven will be like. The Bible even refers to mansions, walls of jasper and streets of gold. But I don't think this is what Jesus is referring to in this passage. I think the above descriptions are in the Bible to give us the understanding that Heaven will be a beautiful place, not that we will own (or even want to) gold, jasper, and the like.
Let us consider for a moment what a treasure is and why we want them. Think back for a moment about all the stories you've ever heard about treasures. What are some characteristics of treasures? We don't necessarily know what is in the treasure. We do know that to be a treasure, it has to be "fantastic." We know that we would like to have, whatever it is, very much. We could go on, but I think you get the picture. The main point is that a treasure is something that we "set our heart on." To us, it is something that we really want. It is something that we think about, hope for, dream about, talk about, and plan how we will use it. In other words, it consumes us entirely.
Jesus is trying to tell us in this passage that those things that consume us, as a treasure does, should be those things which have to do with Heaven. Such things as being with God and His Son and joining with the angels to sing praises to Him. We should not let our lives here on earth be consumed by those things which pass away: money, jobs, family, clothes, boats, cars, houses, friends, vacations, food, habits, feelings, and the list could go on forever. We need to let our lives be consumed by the thought of, and the longing for eternal life with our Heavenly Father.
"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?" (Matthew 6:25) This passage and thought is really a continuation of the above passage. First Jesus tells us not to let life's desirable things consume us, then He says don't let life's bad things consume us either. We should not put our efforts into worrying about life's problems. God will take care of our daily needs, on this you can rest assured. Are there going to be troubles in life? You better believe it! But don't worry about it. Live each day in God's grace, and follow His commandments, and He will provide for you and help you bear up under life's problems. Worry indicates that we really don't have faith that God will provide. We do not show God love by worrying, we show Him love by having faith and not worrying.
"Judge not, that you be not judged." (Matthew 7:1) "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how do you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck out of your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:3-5) What in the world does this passage have to do with showing love for God? Well, let's consider this. If we are judgmental and critical of our brothers and sisters in Christ, it tears down the church. We all have things in our lives which are not right, planks in our eye. How can we see clearly (because of our sin) to be able to rightly judge our brother or sister? How do we know what they are really dealing with, the concerns they have, and the problems they have to overcome? The answer to both is that we can't. Since we can't be a righteous judge, we do our brothers and sisters wrong by trying to judge them. Instead of judging them we should pray for them and ask God to help them and guide them to the right answers. This is showing love for both God and our brothers and sisters.
"Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:12) If every person on earth would follow this command of Jesus, we would have Heaven here on earth. Every ill on earth is a result of us (as humans) not caring for our fellow man. All the greed, envy, jealously, hatred, and strife would end. If we as Christians would follow this command, the church would not have the strife it has as well. By treating our fellow Christians as we would like to be treated, we are truly showing love for them. By treating those outside of Christ, and our enemies too, the way we would like to be treated, we again show love. Jesus told us to love all people. How can we? Read this passage again!
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." (Matthew 7:15) If we really love God, we will do everything in our power to keep ourselves true to the doctrine as given in the Bible. The Bible is God's word. To allow false teachers to destroy its meaning, to distort its teachings, and to attribute ideas to God which are not true, is to put ourselves and others in danger of loosing salvation. God is loving and righteous, but He is also just. If you or I follow a false teaching, even if it is taught as if it came from God, we are putting ourselves in jeopardy. Let's make every effort to "rightly divide the word of truth."
"Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." (Matthew 9:38) We need to keep the lost in our prayers daily. Not just "the lost" as un-named people, but those we know have not accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. Peter tells us in his second epistle that God does not want anyone to perish. Therefore, if God loves all people (and He does), then we should join in through prayer for harvesters. But, we should be one of those harvesters!
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33) This is one of my most favorite scriptures in the Bible. If every Christian would follow this command, the troubles of the church would be over. If we would follow this command, we would honestly show our love for God.
I hope that you have never thought to yourself, "I love God but I don't know how to show Him." But if you have, then I pray that what I have said to you through this article has helped show that we can truly demonstrate our love for God and His Son each and every day. I hope that we can live each day in the fullness of God's love. At the close of each day as we reflect on the day's activity let us truly be able to say, "Today I told God that I love Him by the manner in which I have lived this day."
All scriptures quoted are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.
About the Author
Stephen Kingery is an author, preacher, teacher and founder of The Home Bible Study Institute.
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