“… with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.”Psalm 103:18
We eat delicious food and meet congenial friends. We listen to heartwarming songs and watch entertaining movies. We hike a beautiful trail and stop to marvel at a waterfall. Why? The basic answer is because we love these things. Love is, in the simplest form, desire. Desire is not a bad thing per se, since creation itself is not a bad thing.
However, as St. Augustine said, inordinate love (desire) is the cause of all evil. Sin perverts our love by disordering the priority of the objects of our love. When our love is inordinate, everything we do can turn into a form of idolatry. With inordinate love, even keeping and obeying God’s laws can turn into nothing but unbearable toil and legalism. This is why Moses urged the Israelites to know God’s steadfast covenantal love first and then to “keep his commandments” (Deuteronomy 7:9).
Jesus says, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15). With Jesus, love and obedience cannot be divorced from each other. The cross is the place where love and obedience perfectly meet. [Sangwoo, Seoul, South Korea; first year student]
The true sense of loving obedience wells up in our hearts, only insofar as we meet the love of Christ on the cross.