Love and Obedience
This should be common sense to all of us. That is if we profoundly love someone we would wholeheartedly trust and do our best for him or her. This dynamic of relating to each other has less to do with duties or responsibilities, which are often born out of some unexpressed ideas or drives of unenlightened mind, like guilty feelings or false expectations upon the very ones we want to devote ourselves to. No, we can only do this out of pure love and true trust. As common as it is, this way of relating to God, however, is regarded as the High Law of one’s life in Him.
In Rev. 2 the Lord admonished the Ephesian church that they had to come back to the first love from which they have fallen. The word of “first” often is understood in the context of what happens in the beginning. But this greek word actually has a different meaning as “chief, principle, something ranks first”. When applied here, the idea of “first love” then can be understood with totally a new perspective. It doesn’t allude to the kind of fresh yet childish love we had when we just came to know the Lord, which is great but not meant to last. Rather it is speaking of a way of life, regardless when and where we are in life. That is to love God first and foremost in our lives at all the time.
Jesus spoke of this as the fulfillment of all of law of Moses, the heart of a life God wants all man to possess. In answering a question by a Pharisee as what the greatest command in the law of Moses, he quoted Deut 6:5:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.“
This well explained His idea of first love. In other place, He said this:
Jn 14:19-25 [NASB95]
19 “After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20 “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. 25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you.
Now we can see it clearly: to love God to obey Him into His teachings of righteousness. This is our act or work of faith in God.
Heb 11:6 [NASB95]
6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
In other place, the Lord says:
“Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all things will be added unto you.”
Deut 6:1-9 [NASB95]
1 “Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, 2 so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. 3 “O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. 4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.