The Day of the Lord
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What Does It Mean To Be Saved

What Does it Mean to Love God?
Dr. Allen M. Barber

August 26, 2010

John 14:15 KJV

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 15:10 KJV

10 If ye keep my commandments , ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

1 John 2:3 KJV

3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

1 John 2:5 KJV

5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

1 John 5:2-3 KJV

2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

While we all identify with the emotional aspects of love as a “feeling or affection,” how many of us identify with the “obedience” factor of love?  The word “keep” as used in both the Gospel and letters of John is “tereo” and means to watch closely; to guard with utmost care and to keep one’s eye upon.”  It has both a subjective and an objective meaning. Subjectively, it means subordinated love, that is, the love of God has been poured into and shed abroad in the heart of the child of God by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). Loving the Lord is as natural as breathing air. Show me someone who professes to be a Christian, but bears no evidence of having a deep abiding love for Jesus and I will show you false love. A true believer cannot help but love his Lord for that love is part of who he or she is in Christ. That is subjective Love or heart love. When two people are in love and marry, no one has to ask if they love each other for it is evident in the way they respond to one another. Heart love for the Lord is never a hard thing. If the salvation is genuine, the love is naturally there – in the heart of hearts!  

However, to be real genuine love, there is another step that proves heart love is true. It is “objective love” or love that naturally obeys the commandments of the Lord. Read the above Scriptures and see genuine love for the Lord is expressed in “obedience.” The object of our love is the Lord and His Word. The Word of God and the Lord are “one.” Jesus said, “Why call me Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say.” (Luke 6:46). I John 5: 3 defines this kind of love – “For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments.”  It is not hard to feel love, but the harder test of love is obeying the Word of God, which means doing what it says. We are to guard, watch closely, and keep our eye upon the Word of God and not allow anything to prevent us from obeying it. If someone claims to love God yet is a loose canon and immoral, they are disobedient and not guarding the love of God within the heart. They are not keeping their eye upon the need to be obedient. Loving God and keeping His commandments involve sacrifice – refusing to do what everyone else is doing because it is popular. When you refuse to attend “R-Rated” movies that are filled with sex and foul language, you prove that you love the Word of God that commands us to abstain from all appearances of evil. When your religious friends tempt you to join them in drinking parties and to dress immorally and you refuse, you show that obedience to the Lord and His Word are more important that the temporary pleasures of sin. When you chose not to get involved in a relationship with an unbeliever because you had rather obey the Word of God that commands us not to be unequally yoked in marriage to a non-Christian, you prove your love for the Lord is more important than carnal love.

If the love of God within you is real, it will be rooted and grounded in “faith” more than feelings. Love that is real toward God is both subjective and objective. Think of this kind of love as a two-sided coin. On one side, it says “objective love” and the other side it says “subjective love.” The piece of metal separating the two sides is the basis of that love – “faith” in the Word of God. Where there is love rooted in faith, there will be obedience to the Word of God. The husband who truly loves his wife and the wife who truly loves her husband will not entertain for a second the thought of having an affair with someone else. Why, because they love their spouse, and more importantly, they love the Word of God even more and would not dare disobey God’s commandment by committing adultery. You know why there are so many divorces and so much adultery in the body of Christ – lack of love rooted in faith for the commandments of God? You show me someone who is devoted to the Word of God and who keeps at all costs the commandments of God, and I will show you someone who has peace of mind and heart as well as the blessings of God:

Isaiah 66:2-3 NLT

2 My hands have made both heaven and earth, and they are mine. I, the LORD, have spoken!" I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word. 3 But those who choose their own ways, delighting in their sins, are cursed. Their offerings will not be accepted.

Do you love God, then how obedient are you in keeping His Word?

The Lord bless you and give you an obedient heart.

Dr. Allen M. Barber, the Lord’s Servant

The old Church hymn - "The Love Of God"

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.


O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.


Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.


Frederick M. Lehman, "The Love of God,” 1948