There is this amazing commandment in the bible God gives us.
To love God!
Have you ever heard of a god that commands you to love them?
Is it even possible to demand such a thing?
The answer is yes…
Contrary to what we tend to believe love is actually something you can choose.
Even when we don’t have warm fluffy feelings for someone we can still choose to love them.
Love is an action and attitude of the heart and not an emotion although often strong emotion accompanies it.
So why does God command us to love him?
Doesn’t everyone that’s above us order us to obey?
So why love?
Demanding obedience has often to do with power.
And without it there can be no order and peace of course.
Yet obedience can be done without love.
And who wants to be related to someone if there’s no love involved?
It can lead to peace but how cold if there are no affections attached to that submission.
Who wants their children to slavishly obey them?
Maybe some parents do but God surely doesn’t.
And God knows that if you truly love him you will want to obey him.
So He orders us to love!
I think this commandment shows us more than anything else (apart from the cross) the nature of God.
That God is love.
Jesus said that if we love him we obey him. Because obedience flows from love.
Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, denied Jesus when He was taken captive out of fear for his own life.
After Jesus rose from the death He didn’t tell Peter He was disappointed with him for flat out denying to know him.
Rather Jesus asked Peter if he loved him.
Of course Jesus already knew the answer.
He could see right into people’s hearts.
But Peter needed to know.
He needed to be reminded that he still loved Jesus very much.
He needed to know that God is not after flawless perfection but after our heart.
We may stumble but God doesn’t ask us “how did you do today? Did you make any mistakes?”
Rather at the end of the day He askes with anticitipation “do you still love me?”
So He can reply back to us that He still loves us too!