Before reading this: See Relationship Topic: Love is Obey, and Relationship Topic: Love is Obey Verses. The Bible overwhelmingly reveals that to love God is to obey him.
How does God love us? God loved us by giving. John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” He gives us life, salvation, His Holy Spirit, and everything we need for Godliness (See PRISM Topic – What Does God Give?)
How do we love God? We love God by obeying Him. 2 John 1:6 - And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. John 14:15 - If you love me, you will obey what I command. (These are only two of many verses and examples in Scripture that support the truth: to love God is to obey.)
So if God loved us by giving, and we love God by obeying…
How do we love others? We actually love others - also - by obeying God.
1 John 5:2-3 – “This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands…”
This verse states it simply... We love others by obeying God in how we treat them.
Mark 12:30-31 - And you shall love the Lord your Godwith all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
John 13:34-35 - "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
This is obeying God - Jesus was saying, just as I obeyed God and loved you, so you should obey God and love each other. Obey God in how you treat one another.
Philippians 2:3 - Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves.
I John 3:16 - This is how we knowwhat love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
John 15:12-14 - My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.
John 15:17 - This is my command: Love each other.
Is there anything you could do to love others – that is not simply obeying God?
God tells us how we should treat others. If we are kind, if we refuse to say anything harmful, if we help them, give them what they need without expecting anything in return, believe the best in them; anything we could ever do to love someone (an acquaintance, enemy, friend, neighbor, parent, spouse, children), is really - just obeying God.
If we know that love for God is obeying him, and Love for others is also obeying God – in how we treat them (the Bible overwhelmingly indicates this) then…
What if we viewed the verses in the Bible that speak of love, and loving others – through the lens of obeying God in how we treat them. Could this give us even further insight on love for others?
2 John 1:6 - And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in obedience. (love)
1 John 3:16 - This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
I John 3:17 - If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion, how can the obedience/love of God be in that person?
I John 4:7 - Dear friends, let us love one another, for obedience/love comes from God. Everyone whoobeys/loves has been born of God and knows God.
I John 4:11 - Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
2 Corinthians 12:15 - I will gladly spend myself and all I have for you, even though it seems that the more I love you, the less you love me.
(How did Paul love them? By obeying God in how he had always treated them, even though they were not doing the same. Paul was defending himself against false accusation by others against Paul who were trying to usurp his position as apostle and teacher of the church.)
Galatians 5:13 - For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. But throughobedience/love serve one another.
Galatians 5:14 - For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
(This is love and this is obedience. Love your neighbor means – obey God in how you treat them, so you treat them as you would treat yourself. When we obey God in how we treat others – we love them. As Jesus obeyed his Father and loved us, so we obey our Heavenly Father in loving them, the way Jesus loved us.)
Gal 5:22 - But the fruit of the Spirit is obedience, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
What a deeper perspective! The fruit of the Spirit is obedience! That's what God says love is, and that's what the first fruit of the Spirit is. If we walk in the Spirit – we are directly obeying God in how we treat others – and how we treat God. How could anyone who walks in the Spirit – not be obeying God? The Holy Spirit leads us in obeying God – it’s the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Love for God is obeying Him! in how we treat Him, and how we treat others. And He gives us this obedience as a fruit of His Spirit!
Ephesians 4:2 - Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your obedience/love.
Ephesians 4:15 - Instead, speaking the truthin obedience/love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
(To speak the truth in obedience – means speak only when He says to speak, but also what and how He says to speak -with humility, forbearance, and kindness.)
Ephesians 4:16 - from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itselfin obedience/love.
Ephesians 5:25 - Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
(This means: husbands, obey God in how you love your wife; by laying down your life for hers, just as Christ obeyed God and loved the church by laying down His life for her.)
Colossians 2:2 – “that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit togetherin obedience/love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ.”
Clearly obeying God in how we treat one another creates a common bond of unity that knits our hearts together in affection for one another.
I Thessalonians 3:12 - And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows.
Paul is saying may you grow inobedience to the LORD in how you treat one another and others, just as we obey God in how we treat you. No one can grow in love for another without treating them the way God says to treat them – that’s how love grows. You don’t learn self-less love by what comes naturally, you learn it by the Holy Spirit leading you supernaturally - in loving people. That’s obeying God.
Philemon 1:5,7 - Hearing of yourobedience/love and faith, which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; Yourobedience/love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord's people.
Hebrews 6:10 - God is not unjust; he will not forgetyour work andthe obedience/love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
Hebrews 10:24 - And let us consider how we may spur one another on towardobedience/love and good deeds,
2 Corinthians 8:24 - Therefore show these men the proof of your obedience/love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it.
What was the proof of their love? It was their obedience. Paul said set aside each week according to how God has prospered you so that when I come we won’t have to take up a collection. By obeying week by week – this proves your love for God – so you do what He prompted your heart to do.
John 15:5-6,10 - "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned… If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commands and remain in his love.”
1 John 3:14 - We know that we have passed from death to life, because welove each other. (i.e. we obey God in how we treat each other). Anyone who does not obey/love remains in death.
God makes it clear – if we obey God in how we treat each other we remain in Christ, if we do not obey God in how we treat one another, we remain in death - acting like we weren't even Christians. We love each other because he commanded us to. Loving each other is obeying Him.
I John 4:12 – “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (Loving each other completes the love of God in us.)
I John 4:21 - And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. I John 5:2 - This is how we know that we love the children of God: by obeying God and carrying out his commands.
Anyone who really loves God will obey him, and will obey God in how they treat their brother and sister in Christ.
I Peter 4:8 - And above all things have ferventobedience/love among yourselves: for obedience/love shall cover a multitude of sins.
Wow! Is Peter preaching works salvation here? Do our actions really cover a multitude of sins? I thought Jesus Blood was the only thing that covered our sins. It is. So why is this verse clearly saying an action that we take (fervent love for each other – which is obedience to God) “covers sins.” To be earnest – clearly indicates action on our part – a demonstration of love for each other… It means treating them how God says to treat them, turning them from sin in their lives, with humility and kindness, giving mercy and grace, overlooking offenses and faults. Somehow our obedience in loving one another has a spiritual impact. This is a mystery that God shares here. But it is clearly action taken on our part, not just a warm gooey feeling about each other. It is demonstrated acts of love out of obedience to Christ – proving our love for God and others.
2 Thessalonians 1:3 - We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and love of each one of youtoward one another grows ever greater;
3 John 1:6 - They have told the church here of your obedience/love. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God.
I Cor 13:13 - And now these three remain: faith, hope and obedience. But the greatest of these is obedience.
The three ‘things that remain’ spoken here – are not what God has or does or is. Of course God remains… But the three things that remain – as mentioned here - are things that we need, that we need to be doing – that God gives for us. Does God have faith? What for? He speaks it happens. Does God have hope – is there anything not a sure thing to him? Does God have obedience – who would he obey? (Although Jesus did). God sees the end from the beginning – He is outside of time, so faith and hope and love (obedience) don’t apply to him, in this passage they apply to us. He gives faith, He gives hope, He gives obedience. It’s the fruit of the Spirit – if you walk in the Spirit you will always be walking in obedience (love for God and love for others). The Holy Spirit would never lead you to do anything that is not full obedience to your Heavenly Father, just like the Holy Spirit always and only led Jesus in obedience to His Heavenly Father. That’s why he was raised to the highest place, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven, interceding for us!
Clearly from Scripture love for God is obeying him. And love for others is Obeying God (in how we treat them.
The devil will lie – even about this truth. He will say this is “adding to God’s Word,” but the truth is: anything that is love for God – is obeying. The Bible makes it clear repeatedly, verse after direct verse.
The devil wants us to think obeying God is hard. God says it’s easy. Matthew 11:30 – For my yoke is easy, my burden is light.
Just focus on things above, and not on the flesh. If you set your mind on what the flesh desires, obeying will be hard. But if you set your mind on things above, and walk in the Spirit – you will find that His yoke is easy.
The devil wants to plant the lie that obeying is just a list of do’s and don’t. What you can’t do, or what you have to do - and that it will never be good enough. That’s a lie. Obeying God isn’t a list of do’s and don’ts – it’s a path. It’s a path to blessing, joy, and abundance! The abundant life that God has for you. You will see the joy God brings when you love him – by obeying Him. As you walk in the Spirit, He will direct your steps and give you grace in your time of need - to love Him and to love others.
God loves us by giving. We love God by obeying. And we love others by obeying God in how we treat them. He helps us to love others! When we obey Him, we can prefer them above ourselves, and by His grace we can lay down our lives for one another, just as He laid down his life for us. Truly, this life in Christ is about love. And love for God and love for others – is simply to obey God.
So if Love for God is obeying Him, and Love for others is obeying God in how we treat them. How does God tell us to treat them? See Relationship Topic – How to Treat People
A PRISM Topic: is God’s Word on a single subject. A Relationship Topic is a perspective from God's Word on relationships. A PRISM Topic Packet is a grouping of PRISM or Relationship Topics of similar subjects... part of the M: Meditate on theWord of PRISM – (5 Things You Can Do Daily in God’s Word) to transform the way you think. Ask God what PRISM Topic or Relationship Topic He wants you to meditate on today.Take your PRISM Topic, Relationship Topic or Packet with you! Come back to them multiple times a day! “It is to be with him, and he is to meditate on it day and night, so that he may learn to fear the LORD…” - Deuteronomy 17:19