Most people, if they were asked "Do you love God?", would respond with "yes". That response is a lot of people's first instinct. Also, most people, Christian or not, would agree that there is more to love than just a feeling. Love goes beyond a single moment. Love is something that is shown as well as felt. Love is a verb to be acted upon.
Love is more than something we say
In this chapter we also see the same is true in our relationship with God. Loving God is more than something we say we do. Verse 15 says that if we love Jesus, we will keep his commandments. We will do what he says. Love for God goes beyond a one time high or a church service. Our love for God is shown in the way we live our lives.
Verse 21 says that Jesus will manifest himself to those who love him. He will show himself and make himself more known to those who follow him. This sounds like a lot of pressure on ourselves to do these things. While it is true that we can't accidentally stumble into spiritual maturity, loving God isn't about a list of do's and don'ts. Verse 26 says that we have the Holy Spirit as our helper to teach us and to help us remember what he has told us to do. God didn't leave you alone to figure out how to follow Him. He gave you scripture and the Holy Spirit within so that you know what true love is, and how to be filled with it.
God, I love you and I want to love you more. Holy Spirit teach me what it looks like for me in my life to follow you more. Teach me your ways and lead me in the path of righteousness. Thank you for choosing to love me first and allowing me to experience you perfect love. Amen.
- Nick Spencer