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Is your love for Jesus the real deal?
According to what Jesus Himself said, there is one way to know for sure that our relationship with Him is real.
Do you love Jesus, and count yourself as one of His true friends? This is the relationship we must have with Jesus if we want to enter eternity with Him.
But what separates simply believing in Him and declaring His name, from having a real relationship with Him? A relationship in which He lives in our hearts, in which we become more and more like Him each day?
“If you love Me, keep My commandments”
Jesus says: “If you love Me, keep My commandments … He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me … If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” John 14:15-24.
Jesus has made it possible for us to keep these commandments and partake of heavenly virtues, becoming more and more like Him each day!
“By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” 1 John 2:5-6.
He has paved the way for us, and has given us the Holy Spirit as a Helper. We can keep all the commandments by denying our own will and never giving in to conscious sin. He will give us all the power and help for this, if we give ourselves fully to Him.
Doing the will of the Father
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Matthew 7:21-23.
It is very serious that we ensure we are not ones who call on Jesus, but practice lawlessness – forsaking His commandments. “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar …” 1 John 2:4. We can’t say that we love Him if we don’t give up our own will and keep His commandments. If we live like that, it is ourselves that we love, not Jesus.
By reading about Jesus and the way He lived during His time on earth, we can see what His commandments are, what we need to do to follow Him. “Jesus said to him, ‘“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’” Matthew 22:37-40. God’s commandments for us in our time are clear in His word. See for example Matthew 5:28 and 1 John 2:15.
The Bible also says that God’s laws will be written on our hearts, instead of on tablets of stone as they were in the time before Jesus came to earth. “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.” Hebrews 10:16. We have been given the Holy Spirit as a Helper in our time, to teach us God’s will and remind us of His words. (John 14:26.)
Promises for those who keep His commandments
Just as there are these clear warnings for those who call on Jesus, but do not keep His words, there are also incredible promises for those who do truly love Him (those who keep his commandments)! “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’” 1 Corinthians 2:9.
As we begin to keep and live His words, we are slowly able to partake of heavenly virtues more and more each day. Then we will be happier and more thankful for His commandments; they bring true rest and a joy that the world cannot offer us.
“I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8. Then His commandments will not be burdensome for us at all! “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3.
We must learn to keep all of Jesus’ commandments if we want to inherit together with Him; if we want to be happy and free in the midst of all that comes our way on our life’s path.
We know in our hearts how we have it. If we haven’t done it right, then we can make a new decision to change the way we are living and love Jesus instead; just as He has loved us first.
“For all that is in the world – the lust of the, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.