When I was young, whenever my doting Aunt Betty visited, it felt like Christmas. Shed bring Star Wars toys and slip me cash on her way out the door. Whenever I stayed with her, she filled the freezer with ice cream and never cooked vegetables. She had few rules and let me stay up late. My aunt was marvelous, reflecting Gods generosity. However, to grow up healthy, I needed more than only Aunt Bettys way. I also needed my parents to place expectations on me and my behavior and hold me to them.
God asks more of me than Aunt Betty. While He floods us with relentless love, a love that never wavers even when we resist or run away, He does expect something of us. When God instructed Israel how to live, He provided Ten Commandments, not ten suggestions (Exodus 20:117). Aware of our self-deception, God offers clear expectations: were to [love] God and [carry] out his commands (1 John 5:2).
Thankfully, [Gods] commands are not burdensome (v. 3). By the Holy Spirits power, we can live them out as we experience Gods love and joy. His love for us is unceasing. But the Scriptures offer a question to help us know if we love God in return: Are we obeying His commands as the Spirit guides us?
We can say we love God, but what we do in His strength tells the real story.