“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you? He requires you to fear him, to live according to his will, to love and worship him with all your heart and soul.” - Deuteronomy 10:12
Wouldn’t it be great if we could require someone to love us? “But,” I can hear you say, “how can you require love? Love is a feeling—you can’t require someone to have a certain feeling!”
If love were a feeling, I would agree. But feelings are only a part of love—and a very unreliable part at that. Jesus did say, “I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you” (John 15:12). Therefore, love has to be more than a feeling.
The love God requires from us for himself and for each other is the highest form of love—agape love—love like his. It is a love of the head rather than a love of the heart. A love that determines to be concerned, first and foremost, for the loved ones’ well-being in every dimension of their lives—whatever the cost to ourselves and irrespective of their reaction.
So how can we know that we love God? By being obedient. Jesus said, “Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me” (John 14:21). This verse relieves my anxiety, as I’ve always worried that I wasn’t loving God enough. My fears were based on my erratic feelings toward him. These words of the Lord take the whole thing out of the realm of feelings and into the realm of doing. Now that I can handle! And what can I do to show God I love him? I can do for others. This is what he requires.
For Further Study: Deuteronomy 10:12-22
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit tellingthetruth.org.
Renew your spirit for the year ahead!