God's Love Language
If you truly love Jesus, this article considers how you can really show Him.
God's 'agape' love is a love that gives, a love that has actions, a love that demonstrates. For example, 'God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.' The result of His love was the action; He gave! So if we are empowered by that same love there must be a way for us to work that love into a demonstration. The love that He has placed in each of us has the longing to act upon it. This is what I found when I first became a believer. God had loved me with a powerful, real, tangible love and it produced a desire in me to act upon it.
I realise that God's love motivates people to action in response to the second greatest commandment; to love our neighbours like ourselves. Many ministries have been formed on the basis of trying to fulfil this and rightly so. Yes, loving others is part of our response to God but the overwhelming desire I felt in my heart was to show love directly to the One who gave me the love in the first place. I wanted to show God I was serious about the greatest commandment; to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. In my relationship with Him I wanted to love Him directly, personally, one-to-one.
Attending church I had sung many songs about how I loved God, how I would do anything for Him, follow Him and be faithful to Him, which were simply bold statements without any action to back it up. I knew somehow that these faith-words without corresponding works were dead (James 2:14). With the help of some good counsel I discovered that God requires much more than just our tuneful declarations. For example, I tell my wife I love her very much, but if I don't tell her and show her the love, it doesn't mean very much. The provision, care, protection, comfort and kindness I show are some of the actions that correspond to my statement of love to her. Both words and actions are necessary.
It is the same way with God. He tells us and shows us He loves us, and He wants us to tell Him and show Him in return. Singing songs of adoration on Sunday was a way to tell Him I loved Him and this seemed to move Him to some measure. However, I wanted to show Him real love. Like the concepts described in the famous '5 Love Languages' book by Gary Chapman, I wanted to know God's love language. What makes Him pleased and what actions does He like? What moves His heart and what love does He require?
That's when the significance of Jesus' words in John 14:15 became so powerful to me. Jesus said clearly, 'If you really love Me, you will keep and obey My commands.' It's God's love language! Obeying His commands is what proves that we really love Him. Obedience is the action that corresponds with our bold statements of love.
After this, rather than just declaring my love for Him, I began to seek Him for commands. Scriptures became alive to me and I could hear His still small voice speak to me personally. It's like I would hear Jesus say, "If you really love Me, do not judge your brother," or, "If You really love me, bless those who persecute you." Then practical situations would manifest where I would have an opportunity to obey. When I obeyed I felt more love from God move in and around me than I ever did singing those songs. His presence was stronger and there was an overwhelming sense of His pleasure. The sowing and reaping principle came into effect. This started an amazing adventure with the God who is love. In the beginning the commands that He gave seemed to relate to the way I interacted with my family. Then as I grew in love the commands related to my interactions with those in the church, later to my work colleagues and eventually I had sowed and reaped so much love through simple obedience that I was able to love my enemies.
Of course, as each command was worked through in my life they became permanent. Obeying Jesus is not just a momentary task but a lifetimes commitment to obedience. They are not things to be taken up and dropped at will but directions to be embraced. And, they are always in line with His revealed Word (the Bible). It's not just the obvious 10 commandments but the whole teaching of Jesus as He reveals it through His Word. And just like the apostle states, we should obey them relationally by the Spirit not as a spiritless law (Galatians 5:18).
Maybe you can begin each day by seeking Jesus for a way to express your love. What is He saying to you today? Something like, 'If you really love Me...'
A small but powerful booklet which helped me was 'How Love Grows' by J.C. Hedgecock.
Available from www.solm.org
© 2021 NorthSaint: Darren Roy