A simple question that most anyone would answer in the affirmative. “Of course, I love the Lord” someone might say. Another question now would be do you love the Lord the way he has told you to? In the Bible we can read of God’s divine instructions for many things that are evident in 2nd Timothy 3:16,17. (16) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” KJV. It is in these scriptures (the Bible) that the Lord instructs that “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15 KJV. Simple instructions that we can all understand. What is also simple is the reverse of this passage. If we don’t keep his commandments we don’t love him. Disobedience separates us from the Lord. Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” KJV.
So, we must keep the Lord’s commandments to truly love the Lord. Which commandments? The Ten Commandments of the Old Testament? Perhaps Ten Commandments of the New Testament. How many commandments are we talking about, and where are they located?
While on earth Jesus said may things but not everything has been recorded for us. John 20:30-31 (30) “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: (31) But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” KJV. We have what we need to know recorded in scripture. 2nd Peter 1:3 “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” KJV. Those things that are recorded must be examined for they contain instructions that you and I are to follow. We do this for the purpose of keeping the Lord’s commandments. We love the Lord. Paul told Timothy to study in 2nd Timothy 2:15. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” KJV. The instruction to Timothy is just as valid for you or me because we must study God’s word.
There may be various reasons for me studying the Bible, but our main objective should be to ensure that we read of God’s commandments and follow them. If we know what the Lord would have us to do but never follow through with doing it, do we love the Lord? No. We must keep the commandments John 14:15. It is not enough to say I love the Lord, it is not enough to simply read/study the Bible. We must do what those commandments instruct us to do. James 2:14,17. (14) “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? (17) Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” KJV.
So, are you keeping the Lord’s commandments? If you’re not sure how can you be sure you truly love the Lord? We must read to know what we must do. We must do what He says in order to keep the commandments. We must keep the commandments to love the Lord.
If you read and study you will know you need to be a follower of God, a Christian Acts 11:26. You become a Christian by Hearing God’s word Rom. 10:17, Believing what you hear Mk 16:16, Repenting of your sins Acts 2:38, and being Baptized for the remission of those sins Acts 2:38. Following these acts you go on living your life as a Christian following the commandments of Christ. Sometimes living this life, we allow sin to again enter into our heart just as Simon the sorcerer did in Acts 8:20,21. We have this example that after we have been baptized we can repent and pray for forgiveness. Why? Because keeping the Lord’s commandments is a continual act. John encourages the body of individual Christians that makes up the church at Smyrna in Rev. 2:10 to “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” KJV
And now again the question, do you love the Lord?
Barrett Jones is a member of McArthur Heights Church of Christ.