“The Nature of Love to God and Christ, Opened and Enforced”
“If anyone does not love the Lord–a curse be on him!” 1 Corinthians 16:22
If you truly love the Lord Jesus Christ–then you earnestly study and endeavor to please Him by a life of universal obedience. Love is always desirous to please the person beloved; and it will naturally lead to a conduct that is pleasing. This, then, you may be sure of, that if you truly love Jesus–then it is the labor of your life to please Him.
The only way to please Jesus, and the best test of your love to Him–is obedience to His commandments. This is made the decisive mark by Christ Himself: “If anyone loves Me–he will obey My teaching. He who does not love Me–will not obey My teaching.” John 14:23, 24.
Jesus repeats this theme over and over in different forms:
“Whoever has My commands and obeys them–he is the one who loves Me,” verse 21.
“If you love Me–you will obey what I command,” verse 15.
“You are My friends–if you do what I command.” John 15:14.
“This is love for God,” says John; that is, it is the surest evidence, and the natural, inseparable effect of our love to God, “that we obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3; that is, they will not seem grievous to one who obeys them from the principle of sincere love.
Here, then, you who profess to love the Lord Jesus–here is an infallible test for your love! Do you make it the great aim of your life to keep His commandments? Do you honestly endeavor to perform every duty which He has required–and that because He has commanded it? And do you vigorously resist and struggle against every sin, however constitutional, however fashionable, however gainful–because He forbids it? And is the way of obedience pleasant to you? Would you choose this holy way to heaven, rather than any other–if it were left to your choice?