It is not a question of God's love for man; in fact, the question never really has been does God love mankind, as John 3:16 states, "For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." God's love was manifested through sending His only begotten Son and herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:9-11). 

       God defines His love and shows that love for us through Christ. It is only prudent to allow God to describe and define mankind's love for Him and Jesus. Basically, Jesus states that if a man loves Him, he will keep His word and he that does not love Him will not keep His sayings. Jesus then informs His listener that the word that they hear is not His but God the Father's (John 14:23-24). To love Christ and abide in His love we must keep His commandments even as Jesus kept His Father's commandments and abides in His love (John 15:10). Christ's love compels us to love and serve Him (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). Have you ever wondered why Jesus says in Matthew 22:37-39 that the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and that the second is to love your neighbor as yourself? If you truly love God and your neighbor, you will be keeping the commandments. You cannot be in compliance with those two and not keep all the others. 
       Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 that love is what has to motivate us or all our actions are in vain. The New Testament defines love and teaches us how to love. The scriptures cited above leave us with no other alternative than to conclude that we cannot say we love God and ignore His teachings. If we believe we can love God but ignore or select only certain of His commands to obey, we are living a delusion. This is because we do not have a love for the truth and for this cause God will allow us to believe a lie and not the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). We must love God and His truth and that means we must talk the talk and walk the walk. 

Charles D. Royal
Decatur, AL