Do you hate God? Don’t answer yet. Properly ponder over this pragmatically prolific profundity—er, just think about it for a few seconds.
In Mark 12:30, Jesus said the greatest commandment is that man love God with every fiber of his being (cp. Deut. 6:4,5). So, what about you? Do you love God, or hate Him?
OK, let’s skip ahead to the necessary follow-up question: What does it actually mean to “love God”? Since loving God is the greatest commandment (Mk. 12:30), it is probably a good idea to find out what it means to love God!
…according to the Lord, Himself (Jn. 14:15,21,23): To “LOVE God” = To “OBEY God” (cp. Mt. 7:21-23; Lk. 6:46; Jn. 3:36; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; 1 Jn. 5:3).
Thankfully, God has not left us to puzzle it out: for He—in His written word—has told us exactly what it means to “love” Him. Consider the following “God-breathed” passages (2 Tim. 3:16,17):
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, HE it is who loves me…” (John 14:21a).
“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word…” (John 14:23a).
“For THIS is the love of God, that we keep his commandments…” (1 John 5:3a; cp. 2 John 6).
Thus, according to the Lord, Himself: To “Love God” = To “OBEY God” (cf. Matt. 7:21-23; Luke 6:46; John 3:36; 2 Thess. 1:7-9).
As with all spiritual matters, the only definition that matters is God’s definition. Thankfully, He has spoken (cf. 1 Cor. 2:9-13; Heb. 1:1,2; 1 Pet. 1:20,21; 2 Tim. 3:16,17):
- Those who love Him are those who keep His commandments (Jn. 14:15,21,23).
- All those who do not keep God’s commandments, by His own definition, hate Him—even if they “feel” that they love Him (Jn. 14:24).
So what about you? Do you love God (obey His word), or hate Him (disregard His word)?