Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.

Proof That You Love God (or Don't)

Summary:  Most Christians find it easy to say, “I love the Lord.” But do we really? Do we pass a simple but all-important Scriptural test of that love for God? Come see.

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Matthew 22:36-38  “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.”

Jesus said that to love the Lord our God fully, devotedly, with all that is in us, is the greatest commandment.

Do you love God? The Bible gives a very simple test to see if you do. Please come take the test.

1 John 5:3  In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.

To repeat, the question is: do you love God? The answer is: are you keeping his commands?

If you preached that message in some churches today, some of the hearers would be thinking, “That preacher is trying to get us into a ‘works trip’.” Well, that preacher was the apostle John, who was one of the very closest disciples of Jesus.

More importantly, this is holy Scripture, inspired by the Spirit of God (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16). The infallible Word of God gives us this simple self-test: if we truly love God, we will be obeying Him by keeping His commands. Loving God is not simply saying that we love Him. That’s easy; anybody can say that. No, rather, loving God is proven by a believer’s searching out God’s instructions in the Bible and dedicating himself to obeying those divine commands, instructions, and teachings. In sum, our love for God is proven not by our words or our emotions, but by our actions, by our obedience, by how we live our lives in God’s sight.

Jesus Christ Himself made this obedience issue central to His Great Commission: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). To pastors, to Sunday school teachers, to church elders and other Christian leaders I say: If you are not teaching God’s people to be disciples dedicated to obedience to the teachings of the Lord in Scripture, then you are failing the Great Commission!

John 14:15, NASB  [Jesus said] If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

John 14:21a  [Jesus said] Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.

21a, Amplified  The person who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me.

A true follower of Jesus, one who genuinely loves our Savior, will obey and keep the Lord’s commands. In the Scriptures above, Jesus said that keeping His commands is the proof, the evidence, that we truly love Him.

“If you love me, you will keep My commandments.”
 
Who loves Jesus? — “Whoever has my commands and keeps them”!

I don’t wish to belabor this point. Very clearly, the Bible tells us that there is a simple test to determine whether or not we love God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son. And that test is: are we keeping the commands, the teachings, the instructions they have given us in Scripture? James in his epistle stated this same principle concerning faith: “I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:18, ESV). In the same way, we show God our love by our obedience in keeping His commands.

I suspect that every one of us, myself included, feels a sense of Holy Spirit conviction if we take this teaching seriously. I want each of us to love the Lord with 100% purity and devotion. So my takeaway from the Scriptures we have looked at is the threefold importance of:

• …searching God’s Word, the Bible, daily to learn God’s teachings, commands, and instructions to us;
 
• …diligently and with determination obeying those divine commands;
 
• …thereby building in our lives the biblically-described foundation upon which to truly love God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

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©2017, James H. Feeney.
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Pentecostal Sermons and
Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.