Daily Reading: 1 John 1:9—2:6

But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. (1 John 2:5)

It seems to come as a surprise to some couples at the marriage altar when they are asked to repeat “to love, honor, and obey.” They have little trouble with the pledge to love and honor, but tense up when they get to the obey part. Some marriage vows have dropped the word because some view it as being archaic—a holdover from an undesirable previous culture. Obeying and loving don’t seem to go together.

Among the wonderful benefits of the atonement is a restored relationship with God the Father. What was lost in the garden was restored at Calvary and is appropriated in us as we obey His Word. God has always demonstrated His love toward humankind. His seeking love becomes His redeeming love when Jesus becomes our personal atoning sacrifice.

Salvation is a relationship based on love. God loves us first and makes it possible for us to fall in love with Him. We are in a relationship with Him, and loving Him leads to doing what pleases Him. We prove our love by following His Word, not reluctantly but joyfully because by doing so we discover more of His love. We are drawn to live by His rules because they become the means by which He more completely shares His loving care, protection, and provision.

Tell your heavenly Father that you will love, honor, and obey Him till death shall separate you from all that hinders your relationship.

Ken Heer is the author of Ancient Fire (WPH) and has been a pastor and church leader for fifty-two years.