Show and tell your love for God
February 16, 2022
Valentine’s Day was this past Monday. Last year, I ordered a living plant for my wife online and then the weather turned really nasty. So the delivery was delayed and when the plant arrived, it was frozen. My wife still accepted that as a show of my love for her.
I recall an account of a wife who complained her husband never said he loved her, although he often showed it. He reminded her he said he would love her through good and bad “until death do we part” when they got married and if that ever changed, he’d let her know. Obviously, the wife didn’t only want to see his love, she wanted to hear about it. Husbands and wives are to show and tell their love for each other (Ephesians 5:25-33).
God/Jesus is like that. As the church’s bridegroom, Jesus has certainly demonstrated his love for us verbally and by actions even before the creation of the world (John 3:16; Ephesians 1:3-10; Jeremiah 31:3). He wants us also to show and tell our love for him as proof of our faith (Mark 12:28-31; 1 John 3:16-18; 5:1-5; James 2:14-24). One way we do that is by loving others and telling them about Jesus (Luke 10:25-37; Matthew 5:43-48; 10:32-33; 1 Peter 3:15-16).
That shows others we have a special bridal relationship with Jesus we have with no other (John 13:34-35; Romans 6:3-18; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18). Otherwise, if we’re not lovingly obedient with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, we shouldn’t expect to remain in God’s love (Luke 6:46-49; Matthew 7:21-27; John 15:9-11). This doesn’t mean God expects us to be sin-free (1 John 1:5-10). He knows we’re human and cannot keep from sinning, but Jesus’ blood continues to cleanse us as we strive to remain faithful to him (Romans 3:23; 7:14-25).
This concept of loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength is seen in the Apostle Peter’s life. First, when Jesus was praying at Gethsemane and came back to Peter, James, and John finding them asleep, he told Peter to watch and pray because, while the spirit was willing, the flesh was weak (Matthew 26:36-41). I wonder if the strength with which we’re to love God isn’t our fleshly body, which is weak to temptation (read Romans 7:14-25 again) and the heart, mind and soul work together as a person’s spirit to overcome the fleshly weakness. Jesus knew Peter would have a weakened faith after his arrest (Luke 22:31-34, 54-62).
Second, after Jesus’ resurrection, he asked Peter if he (Peter) loved him (Jesus) more than these (John 21:1-22), which could mean either: 1) “Do you love me more than you love your fishin’ buddies?” or “Do you love me more than these other Apostles love me?” The answer to both questions should be “Yes!” for every Christian because God/Jesus should be our first love (Revelation 2:4).
We know God loves us. Do we show and tell our love for him properly (John 14:15-21)?
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan who writes about faith for the Quay County Sun. Contact him at [email protected]