God loves you, but do you love him?

God loves unconditionally.  He made you from the dust of the earth.  He knows every hair on your head.  He put his indelible stamp on your immortal soul.  Its really quite amazing and wonderful to think about.  To think that beyond the material world we all have a father who loves us better than any human father ever could.  In fact, our biological fathers love for us is supposed to emulate God the father’s love for us.

But, there’s a second half or a flip side to that wonderful, amazing, life-giving, consoling truth, which is that we’re supposed to love him in return.  We’re called to a covenantal relationship with God.  Salvation history can be understood through a series of covenants that God established with his people right up until the incarnation and the covenant with Jesus Christ.  Starting with Adam and on through Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David, God formed covenants with his people, whereby he would be their God and they would be his people, a people meant to keep the commandments he gave them in order to inherit eternal life.

The Lord says “If you love me you will keep my commandments.”  We must keep his commandments if we want to have hope that we will be saved.  It isn’t enough to simply say “God loves me” so therefore whatever I do will be pleasing to him, or when I do something not pleasing it will be automatically forgiven and wiped away without any effort or action on my part.  I think we should all meditate a little more deeply on the Ten Commandments and how much we come up short in terms of obeying them. For example:  If you decide that not going to Church on a weekly basis is okay because you have a “personal relationship” with God, you’ve likely broken at least the first commandment right there.  If you decide that you can divorce your spouse and re-marry, I’d say you need to re-visit the Gospel of Matthew.  It doesn’t matter that civil society allows for divorce.  As Jesus said “From the beginning it was not so”.   We can’t use contraception (even once we decide we’ve had the appropriate number of children).  Again, see the Bible, Genesis 38:9-10.  These are just a few examples (controversial ones, I know) of how we violate God’s will.  If we want to be saved, we need to persevere in loving God and therefore keeping his commandments.  If we don’t, we won’t be saved, and many others as well due to our lack of witness.

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