He who doesn’t love me doesn’t keep my words. The word which you hear isn’t mine, but the Father’s who sent me. (WEB)
Jesus told His disciples that if they didn't love Him, they wouldn't keep His words. Over the centuries, Christians have interpreted this statement to mean that we need to focus on 'keeping Jesus words' to prove that we love Him. If we are not careful, our focus can be on a preoccupation with obeying the letter of what Jesus said rather than the Spirit in which He said it.
As I continue to grow in the love that God has for me, I am seeing this verse a little differently. Rather than focusing on the 'keeping of Jesus' words as proof that I love Him, I am focusing more on my relationship with Him instead. The more that I realize that I am loved completely now... The more I know that I am forgiven for all my past, present and future sins now.... The more that I yield to His ferocious love for me ... My response is to simply love Him back.
What does loving God back look like? Living in love for love is the fulfillment of all His commandments. When we live in love, we will not have to be concerned with 'trying' to obey His commands, for pleasing Him will be the most naturally intuitive way that we can possibly live. As the psalmist says... "I delight to do Thy will oh God". Not because we do it to try to earn 'brownie points', but because we love Him with all our hearts and want to make Him smile.
My prayer today is that we would all know how much we are already loved and accepted by God. The more that we really know this in the depths of our heart, the more that we will live a naturally supernatural life where we keep His commandments out of sheer love for Him. May all legalism, fear and striving be consumed in the fiery love that the Godhead has for us!
1 John 4:16
We know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. (WEB)