“Do you love God?” To good Christian folk this question seems to have an obvious answer, of course we love God. Before we answer too quickly, perhaps we should consider another question; “Do we keep his commandments?” The short answer is simply “No.” Ever since Adam and Eve took a bite of the forbidden fruit, humanity has found it impossible to remain faithful and obedient.
Scripture teaches us that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Yet, all too often we tend to live for ourselves. Today’s norm is to earn as much as we can and keep most of it for ourselves in order that we might life a full life. Remembering the Sabbath and tithing tend to fall lower on the list of priorities.
Scripture also teaches us that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Again, we sinners find it much easier to love and care for ourselves than to care for a stranger in need. To give freely from our wallets to a perfect stranger is counter to everything our instincts tell us. We work hard for what we have. Giving it away doesn’t always make sense. Thankfully, Jesus gave all for us.
As Jesus prepared his disciples for the time he would leave them, he knew his purpose was to save us from ourselves. Loving God means giving him thanks for the gift of his grace. Through repentance, we turn our hearts to the one who gives life. Our thankful response is to love God and strive to keep his commandments.
Prayer: Gracious God, give me the strength to love and honor you, that I may keep your commandments. Amen.