People often talk about how much God loves them, but do they ever love him back? If you don’t have time for him, then you don’t love him, because we make time for the people we love. If you don’t keep his commandments then you don’t love him, because we will do anything for the ones we love. Jesus even said, “if you love me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
When asked by the Pharisees which is the greatest commandment, in Matt 22:34-40, Jesus replied, “Loving God with all of your heart, soul, and strength”. This is the “shema prayer” from Deuteronomy 6:4-5, and he said to love your neighbor as yourself which is from Leviticus 19:18.
We can’t claim to love someone if we don’t follow their instructions or give them the time of day. We must spend some time with God because we love him. God rewards those who are seeking him (Heb 11:6) and not just for things were need or want but for a relationship. If we truly love God everyone will see the fruit as proof. Jesus says we can know people by their fruit (Matt 7:20, Luke 6:45). Keeping his commandments means loving your neighbors which includes loving your enemies (Matt 5:43-48). In Matt 5:43-48, Jesus says we must love our enemies because even God loves them. He said makes it rain and the sunshine on both the wrecked and righteous out of mercy, so we must be like him if we are to be called his children. God’s people are those that have received the holy spirit. Paul says those that sow into the spirit will reap eternal life but those that sow into their flesh reap corruption (Gal 6:7-8). Their reward for eternal life is for those that please God by producing good fruit. The good fruit that God desires are the fruits of the spirit (Gal 5:22-23). In John 15:1-17 Jesus said he was the vine and his followers are the branches, and he said those that produce fruit will be pruned to that they can produce more fruit. However, those that don’t produce fruit will be removed and burned. Paul uses this same analogy when comparing unbelieving Jews to Gentile followers of Christ in Rom 11:17-24. He says branches of the Abrahamic tree (Jews) will be ripped off if they reject Jesus but branches from wild trees (Gentiles) will be grafted into their place if they submit to the Messiah, Jesus. Fruit comes from trees and trees come from seeds, so we must produce the fruit God desires if we truly love him.
Galatians 5:22 (NLT) But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
John 15:5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. 9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.
Every believer should be able to say this:
I loved God with all of my heart, soul, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-5), because he first loved me (1 John 4:19), and I love my neighbor as myself (Leviticus 19:18), including my enemies.