We know if we love Jesus by what we constantly do and don’t do. We know this for Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” And the apostle John echoed Jesus when he wrote, “This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.”
Neither John or Jesus meant that abiding by Jesus’s commandments is just like love. What they meant was that love for God, by its very essence, creates the constant characteristic of the obedience of faith. So, on earth, love for Christ inclines to look like obeying Christ.
Now, faith, obedience, and love are not the same things. Love is our treasuring or cherishing Christ, faith is our believing Christ, and respect is our doing what Christ says. The spirit of each is different. Bad things, like legalism and dead orthodoxy, happen when we make them the same thing. We have to keep Christ’s commandments.
This is a devastatingly, graceful design. God made us to wear our affection on our sleeves. He wired us to serve what we treasure. How we like ourselves is apparent by how we serve ourselves, for evil or good. How we love our children, friends, pastors, co-workers, pets, or spouses is apparent by how we neglect or serve them.
Whether we love money or God is apparent by how we serve or neglect one or the other. In the long run, we cannot fake what or who we really serve.
It’s correct that we can hide our sleeves from human view, sometimes even from ourselves, at least for a while. But God has a way of revealing our sleeves finally.
The fact that Jesus loves you should encourage you to act right and love Him and others with all your heart.