The radio personality asks concerning that special someone, “Do they know you love them?” He adds, “As the big day approaches, make sure they know you care.”
Though being used commercially, it’s a good sentiment, and one worth remembering when it comes to our service to God.
There’s a big day approaching. Not a commercially gimmicked holiday which comes around every year as an opportunity to buy cards and candy, but an historical event of epic proportions which will affect every single person who has ever lived. And on that day, the question, “Does He know you love Him?” will be one of eternal importance.
That big day is a day of judgment, in which men will give an account of themselves to God. God has signified the truth of this event by raising a man from the dead: the very man He has appointed to judge us — Jesus Christ. (cf. Acts 17:30-31) Some men will hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (cf. Matthew 25:21). Still others will hear, “I never knew you, depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:23)
Clearly your relationship with Jesus is a matter of no little importance.
Which brings us back around to the question: Does He know you love Him?
Many will protest that, of course, they love Jesus. They will claim to love His goodness, His kindness, His mercy and His gentle meekness. They may even claim to love His word and His church, for which He died (cf. Ephesians 5:25-27).
However, talk is easy. Many a suitor has pledged undying love and admiration for the object of their affection, only to have time prove those words empty. Parents warn their children about such things: just because they claim to love you doesn’t make it so, look at their actions.
So it is with Christ, whose love and compassion is matched with equal wisdom and perception. “Why do you call me Lord, Lord,” Jesus asks, “if you don’t actually do the things I say? (Luke 6:46)
Jesus told His followers, in no uncertain terms, what we should be doing if we truly love Him.
“If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) Jesus went on to say, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (John 15:10; NKJV) Elsewhere the Scriptures reiterate this thought: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” (1 John 5:3a)
Jesus doesn’t want flowers as a sign of affection. He doesn’t want chocolate, or a nice card. He doesn’t want mere words of poetry and flattery. What Jesus wants from those who claim to love and admire Him is obedience to the things He taught.
Such obedience acknowledges the wisdom of Jesus because it shows a willingness to accept the idea that Jesus knows best how we each should be living. Such obedience also acknowledges the authority of Jesus, who, having claimed following coming back from the dead, that all authority, “in heaven and on earth” was His (cf. Matthew 28:18), thereafter taught His disciples to teach other disciples all the things that He, Jesus, had commanded them (cf. Matthew 28:20). To deny the commands of Jesus is to deny His authority and His kingship.
Without this obedience, Jesus not only doubts our love for Him, but He knows of a certainty that whatever love we have is not the kind of love he desires.
So we return to the question: “Does He know that you love Him?” Is there evidence in your life, in the form of obedience to the commands of Jesus, that you actually care for Him? Does He have a part to play in your life, or is your affection for Him a shallow sort of affection, one where you might be willing to buy a small card, but not actually do much more?
Good relationships need more than mere words and occasional small tokens of appreciation. This is true in romantic relationships. It is true in familial relationships. It is certainly true in your relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
We might add, “As the big day approaches, make sure He knows that you care.”
The Church of Christ would be happy to help you in your relationship with Jesus, and invites you to study and worship with us at 234 Chapel Drive, Gallipolis, Ohio.
Jonathan McAnulty is minister of Chapel Hill Church of Christ.