It is a basic human desire and need to be loved. In our innermost being, we desperately crave to be fully known and fully accepted. This is the reason for the sparkle in the eyes of newlyweds and is the reason for the eyes lifted high to Heaven when engaged in worship. We want to be loved by someone who truly knows us for who we really are.
While God has made us for relationship with people (it wasn’t good for Adam to exist alone so God made a partner for him), that relationship isn’t enough. We enjoy loving relationships with people but our heart cries out for a relationship with the God who made us.
So, how can we tap into the love the Father has for us? We cannot earn it. It simply comes our way by grace. But, how do we experience it? And how do we express our love for Him? Is it something mystical that we conjure up or is it something much more concrete than that?
Let me allow Scripture to answer these questions:
John 15:9-10 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”
Matt’s note: Obeying God’s Word doesn’t earn His love. We are loved because of grace, not because of anything we do. But, we can only EXPERIENCE God’s love for us and express our love for Him as we obey His Word.
John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
John 14:21 “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
John 14:23 “Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.'”
Matt’s note: These final verses make it clear that obedience to God’s Word isn’t only about expressing our love to God and receiving His love for us. It demonstrates that we are truly saved and on our way to Heaven.
1 John 2:3 “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.”
1 John 3:24 “Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.”
1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.”
Friend, experiencing God’s love for us is not so much about closing our eyes and singing worship songs that conjure up emotions within us. For certain, those can be wonderful times! But, I have observed folks who lived like the devil during the week and then worshiped on Sunday morning in such a way that it appeared that their love relationship with the Lord was something to be envied.
A love relationship with the Father is much more real and concrete than that. It is rooted in a lifestyle of knowing what God has told us to do … and then obeying. Obedience doesn’t earn God’s love … but it allows us to express our love to Him and frees us to receive His love for us.