February 14 I Friday
“The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father,
and I too will love them and show Myself to them.”
Some people will misconstrue the above statement Jesus makes to imply that if we do not love God, He will not love us. That would be a kind of playground love: “If you are my friend, I will be your friend, but if you are not my friend, I will not be your friend.” God is far above that and does not operate on those terms.
When Jesus says, “The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father,” He is saying that when we love God, we will enjoy a reciprocated relationship, whereby we personally experience and enjoy being loved by the Father. This is a two-way street in which there is communication on both sides and His love for us becomes experiential.
Jesus went on to say, “Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them, and We will come to them and make Our home with them” (John 14:23). Love for Jesus and obedience to Him go together, and this leads to Him making His home in our hearts. If we are a Christian, Jesus already indwells us, but that does not mean He is at home in our hearts. The whole story of the Bible is God wooing us into relationship with Him, whereby we are indwelt by His Spirit, and this is what enables Him to place godly desires into our hearts.
Our obedience to Him then becomes the natural expression of our love for Him.
As Christians, we recognize in the cross of Christ we have the supreme demonstration of God’s love for us, but this is merely objective knowledge. We can be deeply grateful for it, but there is something more that Paul talks about in Romans 5:5: “...God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” This is a subjective experience of God’s love. It is an experiential knowledge, and if we do not know this inner sense and consciousness of God’s love poured into our hearts, His love may be an article in our creed, but it will not be a power in our lives.
The ultimate expression of love is godliness, and that is because God is love. To know God is to love Him, and we need to know Him, not as a tidy set of doctrines, but as the lover of our souls, and the one whose love is so real we will never need to ask, “Where is God?” We know He is fully at home in our hearts when, with a constant awareness of His presence and His love, we love Him back.
Prayer: Lord, I am so grateful for the experience of Your love, which brings me peace, joy, comfort and security. I pray You will always be comfortably at home in my heart. Thank You, Lord.