Love and Obedience

Sometimes Christians get things backwards. We see obedience as evidence of love for God and pursue it, believing it will prove our love.[foot]2 John 6[/foot] The problem is God wants our love first. Obedience flows out of that. Love for God is a gift of His grace. We cannot muster up love under our own volition; we cannot try harder to love Him more. We receive love for God as we understand His love for us.[foot]1 John 4:19[/foot] As we grow in Him, He increases our capacity for love, both for Him and others. Out of this love given to us, we obey. Love begets obedience. Our role is to follow God, surrender to Him, and He will take care of our obedience. Through love, we will desire obedience; through His power, it is possible. Aiming for obedience will find us, in the end, neither obedient nor loving. Aiming for love will find us obedient without trying.