There is nothing we can do to make God love us anymore than he does. He is love. We know God loves all. That’s settled.

God loves us all but do we love him? He has been reconciled to us by the death of his son. But are we reconciled to him? If we are not reconciled to him, then we are truly in a lost state. It is all a matter of a love relationship.

The only way we know if we love God is if we obey him! Do what he says. Jesus said if you love me you will keep my words. If we don’t  keep his commands, we cannot say we love him. Unless we love him wholeheartedly, sincerely, (although imperfectly), we cannot say we love him. The proof for us, as we examine ourselves before Him, is to answer this question: am I committed to obeying Jesus?

He asks us to love him. He commands it. Yet he never forces our love. It is a surprise to many, that Jesus never once asked disciples to worship him. Never once! Instead he asked them to obey him! worship in Spirit, in truth.

If we are to be his disciples then there is no option but to obey his words, take up his yoke, follow him, his word, bear his reproach, suffer with him.

What then are Jesus’ commands?

Some are obvious, so well-known: Love God. Love one another, pray.

Others may not be so obvious or discussed much: follow me, make disciples, teach them to do what I have said,  proclaim the Kingdom of God, bear fruit that sticks, abide in me, feed on me and my word, learn from me, serve one another, don’t love the world.  Obviously this is not an exhaustive list.

We must not presume that what we have learned in the past, our traditions, our religious practices, is what God commands. We must not assume we know the way. Jesus is the way. We copy him.

Ask yourself: given what we do know of Jesus’ commands, do we have any time and energy to be doing silly religious things or playing church, sitting and watching and listening in the pews?

Is that what Jesus wants us to do? Is that what he started?
We must avoid obeying anyone else but Jesus. If we go on to obey our religious traditions, we are voiding the word of God and are disobedient and preferring another way to Jesus. We must forsake all to follow him.

We must seek his will. Your kingdom come, your will be done as in heaven. This is only possible in us if we obey him. This was his practice with the Father. As Father sent me so I send you. The servant is not above his master.

If we are going to obey Jesus, then a lot of things, religious stuff will have to be laid aside. Heaps of so-called Christianity will have to be abandoned.  Then we will have the time and the energy and the ears to carry out what he wants, especially in bearing witness to him and making disciples. We must jettison churchy stuff, trivial rules and dogmas, passive meetings where no repentance and action takes place, and so on.

Jesus only taught what his Father said – what he heard from God. His commands are the Father’s commands. So we also must teach only what we hear from God, from what Jesus has commanded us. There is no other viable, sustainable option.  Anything else is a waste of time. And Jesus’ yoke is actually easier. Easier!

This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome (1 Jn 5:3).


  1. Jesus says in John 14: 21 They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.’

    Harriet, my wife and I were brought up as 3rd and 4th generation Seventh Day Adventist Christians (SDA). It was a bit like Old Testament Jews with the New Testament added on. As a result of our upbringing, we had an innate understanding of what the main tenets of the SDA belief were. At that time there was a strong emphasis on keeping the Ten Commandments and the 2nd Coming of Christ. Unknowing it was a very legalistic outlook.

    In the mid 1970’s, the Gospel began to be emphasised. ie. Jesus as our Redeemer has fulfilled all the requirements of the Law and our responsibility was to simply follow Him … grace not law.

    This emphasis on the Gospel alone lead to a worldwide conflict between the traditionalists and the Gospel reformers. In 1982, the World Administration of the Church sided with the traditionalists and one of the key reformers Dr. Desmond Ford from Australia (Head of Theology of the Tertiary Training College at the Avondale College), was disfellowshipped. Subsequently, in 1983, Harriet and I plus a whole generation like us plus 10% of the pastors worldwide left the Adventist Church altogether. It has taken the church over twenty five years to come around to where we all were in the early 1980’s. They now see themselves like other Christians.

    We learnt the essence of what Jesus said in Matt 22: 35-39 on His commandments vs. .the Ten commandments given to Moses when the children of Israel came out of Egypt.

    Matt 22: 35-39 and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”

    If you would like to read more on the implications of this new life in Jesus, I suggest you look at the post on the Covenants on my New Earth Community website:

    Click to access The-Covenants-Comparisons.pdf


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