Keeping the Commandments a Test of Love
We are commanded to love God. It is the first and greatest commandment. Love is more than an emotion; it is an act of the will. A mother loves her child constantly, though she may not always experience the emotions of love. Her care for her child is a proof of her love. We may not always experience a feeling of love toward God, but we can always love Him. Our love is measured, not by our emotions, but by our obedience our service. We labor for those we love, and the love makes the labor light. It is not an irksome thing to obey God when we love Him.
It is possible to make a profession to love God and not really love Him. It may be that many are deceived at this point. One Scripture says, “If any man love God, the same is known of him.” (1 Corinthians 8:3) Jesus says, “Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46) Love is something more than mere words. It is useless to make a profession of love to Jesus and not do what He says. A husband cannot convince his wife of his love by a mere profession of love, but he can convince her by his acts. We are to love, not in word and tongue only, but also in deed and in truth. Again, Jesus says, “If a man love me, he will keep my words.” (John 14:23) Here is an unfailing test of love. If you will not obey God, He knows you do not love Him, no matter how much you may profess to love Him.
So again we are reminded by the Holy Bible that, in order to spend this brief life of ours as we should, we must keep the commandments of God. No other life will find acceptance with God. No other life will please Him. He desires your love most certainly, but He wants such love as will prompt you to obey Him. Do not measure your Christian experience by your feelings, but measure it by your obedience as proceeding from an internal principle. When you find something in your heart that causes you to obey God no matter how you feel, you have good reason to hope that you are a Christian.
In subsequent chapters I will tell you something of what God’s Word teaches, but, first of all, I desire to fully convince you, and help you to feel, that the right and true way of life is in obedience to its teaching.