Bible Reading: 1 John 2:3-5
The proof of our love for God is our obedience to the Law of God. It is love, not law, that produces obedience in the Christian life. The true Christian doesnâ€™t obey Christ because he feels forced to by the Law of God. Instead, he obeys Christ because he wants to, thanks to his love for God.
In 1 John 5:3, John writes: â€œFor this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.â€ In this verse, like in 1 John 2:3-5, John teaches us that the proof of our love for God is our obedience to God. In 1 John 5:3, however, John adds that the true Christian actually obeys God without any grievance. He is neither grieved over Godâ€™s commandments nor Godâ€™s expectation of him to obey them. Instead, he is glad to do so. Since he loves Christ, his delight is to please Christ; and since his delight is to please Christ, he is not grieved by Christâ€™s commandments, but glad to obey them.
The true Christian â€œserves the Lord with gladnessâ€ (Psalm 100:2). He does it with a spring in his step and a smile on his face. He doesnâ€™t do it with a frown and dragging his feet. He is â€œconstrainedâ€ to serve Christ by â€œthe love of Christâ€ (2 Corinthians 5:14). His service and obedience are not just motivated by his love for Christ, but also by the inescapable thought of Christâ€™s incomprehensible love for him.
I like J. B. Phillipsâ€™ translation of 1 John 2:5. According to Phillips, the more a man learns to obey Godâ€™s laws the more truly and fully he expresses his love for God. The true measure of your love for Christ is your obedience to Christ. The less you live for Him, the less you love Him. The more you live for Him, the more you love Him. If you donâ€™t live for Him, you donâ€™t love Him. Disobedience to Christ proves the disingenuousness of oneâ€™s profession of Christ. Anyone unwilling to live for Christ doesnâ€™t love Christ, regardless of what he professes.