“but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. ” (Exodus 20:6, NASB95)
This verse is proof that the Lord desires our obedience to His Word to be rooted in love and not sacrifice/compulsion. He purposely ties love for Him and keeping His commandments together. This is why Jesus says repeatedly in the Gospels, “Find out what this means, I desire mercy; not sacrifice.” God desires that our relationship with Him be rooted in love and compassion, not ritual obedience. He could care less if we appear to do the right things on the outside but fail to love Him and our fellow man.
When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus said, “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul; and to love your neighbor as yourself.” Paul says in Romans, “…love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.” The point to be made here is that we have a God who is Agape (love). He created us in His image and desires that our relationship with Him be rooted in love. He sent His Son into the world to die for our sins as an expression of His love for us. He now wants our whole lives to be a reciprocal loving expression of gratitude for all that He has done for us.
Today, as we decide what it is we are going to do and say, let’s ask one important question first, “Is what I am about to do or say rooted in loving gratitude to God for all that He has done for me?” If so, then let’s do it!