Love Rewarded

By Pastor Teck Uy

Many people claim that they love the Lord, but to what extent do they love him? Are they just offering a lip service so as to build an image of being holy and upright? To avoid any pretensions, God himself set the standard by which we should love the Lord. He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:5). This love that the Lord demands is beyond the love that we express to our fellowmen. It demands a lot of sacrifice.

We can have many expressions of love. We can express it verbally or in writing. We can also render some kind of service or give a portion of our resources. In the case of the Lord Jesus, however, he wanted a better proof of our love when he said, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him" (John 14:21). When we obey his commands, we are actually saying that we love God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength.

But why would the Lord demand that we love him this way? It is because he wants us to be single-hearted. The truth is that there is another one that is vying for our love – Satan. Jesus referred him as the thief, saying, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). The promise of full and abundant life is for those who love Jesus. On the other hand, the devil has nothing to offer since he owns nothing. That is the reason why he steals.

But what do we get out of loving the Lord? Will there be any reward? Well, God himself had said, “Because he loves me, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation" (Psalm 91:14-16). From these verses, we could see an abundance of God’s blessings. In fact, God has eight great promises for us who love him, namely:

He will rescue us. He will not let us fall and suffer harm. Instead, we are told that “he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone” (Psalm 91:11-12).

He will protect us. While the devil roams around seeking whom he may devour, we can always depend on the loving care of the Lord to protect. The apostle Paul emphasized this when he said, “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thess. 3:3).

He will answer us. When we are in need, all we must do is to call on the Lord. He promised, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jer. 33:3).

He will be with us in trouble. No matter how difficult our situations will be, he will help us. “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging” (Psalm 46:2-3).

He will deliver us. No amount of trouble terrifies those who love the Lord because “the angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them” (Psalm 34:7).

He will honour us. The Lord will always be just in his dealings with us. He said, “Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained” (1 Sam. 2:30).

He will bless us with long life. “Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess” (Deut. 5:33).

He will save us. As we love the Lord, he will love us even more. Confident of the saving grace of the Lord, David said, “For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave” (Psalm 86:13). His love endures forever. Hallelujah!