I've done a lot of things for love. Because I love Daddy, I choose to buy him pop, when otherwise, I would not have it in the house. Because I love Daddy, I have a different comforter in our bedroom than I originally wanted. When we were first married Daddy said, " I don't care how you decorate our house, I just don't want to be surrounded by flowers." Because I love Daddy, I buy whole milk instead of skim. Because I love Daddy I watch "The Bachelor" upstairs on the small TV, so he can watch "House" and "Chuck" on the big TV downstairs. Because I love Daddy I make his lunch for him every day.
I've NOT done a lot of things because of love. Because I love Daddy, I did not ask him to see Justin Bieber's movie with me; I knew he'd hate it. Because I love Daddy, I don't flip out when he leaves his shoes in the middle of the foyer. Because I love Daddy I don't mow the lawn; he likes it done a certain way, and he enjoys doing it. Because I love Daddy, I don't complain when he wants to eat Taco Bell. Because I love Daddy, I don't call him on Tuesday afternoons; he is always especially busy that afternoon due to staff meetings from that morning. Because I love Daddy, I did not ask him to repaint the entire living room even though I don't like the color.
Love dictates our interactions with others. Love directly influences our choices and our lifestyle. Love makes us put the desires of the person we are connected to, above our own.
When we are in a relationship with Jesus, our love for him should dictate our choices and our lifestyle. For instance, because I love Jesus, I don't gossip, lust, lie, cheat, steal...etc, etc (at least I try not and I have to lean upon God's help each day). Those actions hurt the heart of the one I love. Because I love Jesus, I spend time with him, I spend time with his other people (his church), I give myself to His work and ministry, I give my resources to him, I give my praise and attention to him. Those actions bless him, and make him happy.
When Christianity is merely a religion, there is no love. We aren't motivated to change our behavior, attitudes, actions, and thoughts. When love is involved, change is unavoidable.
But then, how do we know how to love? Because JESUS first loved us. He teaches us how to love. Sacrifice, humility, patience, unconditional acceptance, grace, mercy, faithfulness...these are a few characteristics of the love Jesus has for us. This is the same love we ought to have for him then.
Just as my love for Daddy dictates what I do and do not do, so should our love for Jesus. Our love for our God should dictate what we do and don't do. Our love for our God should dictate who we are, and who we are not.
Our love for Him should change us, and motivate us to live pure and holy, just as He did. Our perspective moves from "I HAVE to live this way", to "I WANT to live this way".
My prayer for you is that you are so overwhelmed by the love that Jesus has for you, that you fall in love with Him. And when you fall in love with Him, you will WANT to live a life that pleases his heart.