Love & Commands
“If you love me, keep my commands..." (John 14:15)
This love must have begun with a desire or emotion, but Jesus says it requires action. Jesus goes on to say "Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me." (John 14:21) Not too much later, Jesus is speaking of our love for our fellow Christians, and says "This is my command: Love each other." (John 15:17). Would we assume this love is any different from our love for Him? Is this emotion (or a feeling only), or is action also required?
Somewhere along the way, maybe because of Hollywood, people have developed the understanding that love is simply a feeling. For sure, feeling is involved, but the feeling alone doesn't produce much. Love is ultimately about what we do, our actions. God set the example, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom 5:8)
Our obedience to Christ is something we do, but we do a lot of things in life that are not motivated by love. So it is a deliberate action motivated by our desire to please Him, thus it does involve our emotions combined with a passionate response. So here, where Jesus is teaching, we must understand that our love is shown, (demonstrated or confirmed) through our obedience.
Yes, it's pretty hard to keep all of God's commands, and no living person can do that perfectly, regardless of how good they may be. 1 John 1:7 talking to Christians, says "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. Vs-9 then says "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.". Thank God that He provides us pardon for the shortcomings we have in keeping His commands perfectly.
1 John 5:3 sums up all these thoughts, "In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,..." While we can't be perfect, God does give us the ability to live up to His expectations because the blood of Christ covers our inadequacies, as we try to get it right, and obey His will. Jesus overcame sin, and through His blood, He can cover our sin (John 16:33). This is the Good News that our world needs to understand, a remedy to our sin problem, a way to be approved of God, even when we don't have that ability in and of ourselves. But we only attain it when we love God, and strive to keep His commands, all of them.