In I Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul wrote that we can have eloquent speech, prophetic powers, a mind full of understanding and knowledge, and faith to move mountains, and we can even give all of our possessions to feed the poor and give our bodies to be burned, but without love “it profits nothing” (see I Corinthians 13:1–3).
As Paul concluded his epistle to the believers in Corinth, he summed up this message by writing, “Let all your things be done with charity [love]” (I Corinthians 16:14). In essence, he is saying that love should be the driving factor behind everything that we do.
Keeping Christ’s commands must be motivated by genuine love; otherwise, even they “profit me nothing.”
Love is the theme and purpose behind all of God’s Law (see Matthew 22:37–40), and love should be the motivation for keeping every command of Christ. Let’s look at some of the commands through the eyes of love:
We repent because we love Jesus and want His will in our lives.
We follow Jesus because we love Him and want to be with Him all the time.
We welcome reproach because Christ suffered for us and we love Him for it.
We do good works because we want others to glorify God and to love Christ as we do.
We love God’s Law, because it is God’s loving instructions to us.
We reconcile with others because we realize that our actions did not demonstrate love.
We do not lust, because we love others more than we love ourselves.
We keep our word because we love those to whom we make promises.
We go the second mile because we love the person who requires us to go the first mile.
We love our enemies because Christ loved us when we were His enemies.
We become perfect because we love the Lord and want to be like Him.
We practice personal disciplines as expressions of our love for the Lord.
We lay up treasures in heaven because we love Jesus and want our hearts to be where our treasure is.
We seek God’s kingdom because we love God and want His will in the earth.
We will not judge, because we love others and want them to know God’s love.
When Christ perfects His love in us through His commands, our lives will demonstrate the power of Christ’s love.
Use this list as a pattern for the remaining general commands, and make your own list of how genuine love can be expressed through each of the commands. Let’s review this list often to remind ourselves not only to obey Christ’s commands, but to obey them out of a heart of genuine love for God and others. With this as our motivation, the power of Christ’s love will flow through our lives and accomplish much for His glory!
Through Christ our Lord,
“If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).