And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands… 2 John 1:6 NIV
“Your teammate can pass you the ball, a coach can put you on the team, a scout can give you a scholarship, but only the love can make you a player.” These words were printed on my favorite t-shirt as a high school player… I loved the game and that love made a difference.
I put in extra time after practice. I got up early to lift weights. I made choices that wouldn’t risk my opportunity to play basketball. My love for the game translated to commitment, effort, perseverance, hard work and success.
Over 20 years have passed since I last laced up my Nikes for a real game, but recently the slogan above came back to mind. The words had nothing to do with a ball, coach or scholarship, but instead with something God’s put on my heart. Like basketball it’s something I enjoy, but it’s also something that will require work, sacrifice and discipline. And honestly, it’s something I’ve been avoiding.
This little slogan from years ago became even more powerful as I studied Scriptures to learn more about love. Friend, if you’ve spent any time in God’s Word or the church you know God’s love fills us, comforts us and saves us, but I’m learning it should motivate us.
Today’s key verse eludes to this. Our obedience to God is evidence of our love for Him. 1 John 5:3 says something similar, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” (NASB) The Gospel of John chapter 14 echoes this as well. Verse 15 says, “If you love me, keep my commands.” (NIV)
Some commentators debate over the meaning of the word command, but I think my child’s definition keeps it pretty simple. In Jesse’s words a command is “something I’m supposed to do.” So whether it’s the Ten Commandments, Jesus’ words on loving our neighbor or God’s calling on our life… we need to obey.
Friend, what do you need to do? Is it hard? Do you need patience? Do you need self-control? All of these things and more are necessary, but let God’s love motivate you to do the things you never thought you would!
What’s the thing you need to do, but tend to avoid? Is God leading you to speak kind words? Is He asking you to step out in faith? Do you need to love your neighbor, husband, child or co-worker as yourself? Sit for a minute and think about the depth of God’s love for you… He sent His Son to die for you. (John 3:16) How does what He is asking you to do compare to that? Spend some time in prayer confessing your sin (James 4:17), asking to be filled with the Spirit and committing to obey.
Lord, You are God. You love me and You ask me to obey You. I’m sorry for being a disobedient child, please forgive me. And Lord change me. I pray Your love for me will move me to action. Help me do all You ask me to do. May my obedience to You be evidence of my love for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Listen to Jason Gray sing about the impact of our little acts of love! Click HERE.