MOST religions claim that what they say comes from God. Therefore, we do well to heed the words of Jesus’ apostle John, who wrote:
Dear friends, don’t believe every spirit. Test the spirits to see if they are from God because many false prophets have gone into the world. (1 John 4:1)
How can we test something to see if it comes from God?
Everything that comes from God reflects his personality, especially his predominant quality, love. For example, our sense of smell, which enables us to delight in the aroma of herbs, flowers, or freshly baked bread, is an expression of God’s love. Our ability to see a sunset, a butterfly, or the smile of a young child reflects God’s love for us. The same is true of our ability to hear beautiful music, the sound of a bird, or the voice of a loved one. Even our human nature, imperfect as it is, reflects God’s love. That is why we often experience the truth of Jesus’ words:
In everything I have shown you that, by working hard, we must help the weak. In this way we remember the Lord Jesus’ words: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20:35)
We enjoy expressing love because we are made “in God’s image.” (Genesis 1:27) Although God has many other qualities, love is the most outstanding aspect of his personality.
Writings that come from God should reflect his love. The world’s religions have many ancient writings. How do such writings measure up in regard to reflecting God’s love?
The truth is, most ancient religious texts explain little about how God loves us or how we can love God. Thus, millions of people receive no answer when they ask, “Why do we see evidence of God’s love in creation while suffering and evil continue?” The Bible, on the other hand, is the only ancient religious writing that fully explains God’s love. It also teaches us how to practice love.
The Book About Love
God’s Word, the Bible, reveals God as “the God of love.” (2 Corinthians 13:11) The Bible describes how love moved God to give to the first humans life free of sickness and death. But rebellion against God’s authority introduced suffering to mankind. (Deuteronomy 32:4, 5; Romans 5:12) God acted to restore what was lost. God’s Word says:
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. (John 3:16)
The Bible sums up man’s obligation in these words:
You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands. (Matthew 22:37-40)
The Bible rightfully claims to be inspired by God. Since it clearly does reflect his personality, we can be sure that it comes from “the God of love.”—2 Timothy 3:16.
By applying this one standard, we can identify which ancient writings are truly from God. Love also identifies true Christians, for they imitate God in showing love.
How to Recognize People Who Love God
Those who truly love God stand out, particularly now that we live in what the Bible calls “the last days.” Increasingly, people are “lovers of themselves, lovers of money, . . . lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God.”—2 Timothy 3:1-4.
How can you recognize people who love God? The Bible says:
This is the love of God: we keep God’s commandments. God’s commandments are not difficult. (1 John 5:3)
Love for God moves people to respect the Bible’s moral standards. For instance, God’s Word has laws on sex and marriage. Sexual relations are permitted only within marriage, and marriage is to be permanent. (Matthew 19:9; Hebrews 13:4)
In addition to their love for God, true Christians are easily identified by the way they show love for their neighbors. Their most important work is speaking to others about mankind’s only hope, the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 24:14) Nothing can bring more lasting peace and prosperity to their neighbors than to help them gain knowledge of God. (John 17:3) True Christians also show their love in other ways. They extend practical help to those who are suffering.
Besides loving God and their neighbors, true Christians love one another. Jesus said:
I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.—John 13:34, 35.
Love is a distinguishing feature of a relationship with God. Jesus likened finding God to finding the right road and choosing to walk on it. It is the only road that leads to everlasting life. Jesus said:
Go in through the narrow gate. The gate that leads to destruction is broad and the road wide, so many people enter through it. But the gate that leads to life is narrow and the road difficult, so few people find it. (Matthew 7:13, 14)
True Christian’s walk unitedly with God on the road of true obedience and worship. If you find that road and choose to walk on it, you will have found the best way of life, for it is the way of love.—Ephesians 4:1-4.
Imagine what happiness, peace and prosperity can be yours as you walk with God! From God you can learn wisdom and love which will lead you to enjoy good relationships with others. From God you can learn about the purpose of life, and you can understand God’s promises and have a hope for the future. You will never regret seeking and being obedient to God. He truly loves you and will bless you beyond your wildest imagination.