When we consider the price and find ourselves struggling with the high cost, one thing is certain; we are not yet responding to God's love out of love. The price is only high when we are not moving out of the motivation of love. Jesus said that His yoke was easy and His burden was light (Matthew 11:30). A love grown cold makes the cost seem high and the burden heavy .The only obedience that has any meaning to God is that which is born out of love. "If you love Me, keep My commandments," Jesus said (John 14:15).
What is love? Where does it come from? How can I have His love? If these are our questions, then let us take them to God and let Him answer them. The answers to these questions will lead us into the path of knowing God. "God is love" (I John 4:16). If God is love, the only way that we can get love into our lives is to get God into our lives. The Holy Spirit (who is God) puts His love into our hearts (Romans 5:5).
If we try to express the love of God, we will fail. If we abide in His love, His love will be expressed in and through our lives without self-effort. To try to express love or try to obey is bondage. To abide in Christ is freedom. He sets us free from ourselves, our desires, our ambitions and our limitations, and brings us into a broad place of living--living in His love. When we have paid the price, which is giving up our life, then there is no more "price." We have been set free into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.
What is a marriage without love? A prison cell! What is "salvation" without love? The same--and more than that, deception, because apart from God's love in our hearts, there is no salvation. Salvation is salvation from ourselves, and the only way we can be saved from ourselves is to know God's love filling our hearts. Was there ever anything too hard to do for the one you loved? If this is true of earthly loves, how much more with our heavenly Father, who is the very definition of love?
A test of whether we love God may be seen in the expression of His love to others. "If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar, for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?" (I John 4:20). It is impossible to give an expression of love towards our brother if God's love is not filling our hearts. I Corinthians 13:4-7 is impossible, apart from ability from God. We must be honest with ourselves in this matter, for if we try to pretend, we fool only ourselves, and in the end we are the losers.
Love is an expression of oneness, and that oneness with our brother is defined by God Himself: "...that they may be one as We are" (John 17:11). God is one, and He has made the way that we may know that same oneness. "I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me" (John 17:23). The desire of our hearts is that we give forth a pure testimony of God to the world, and the way we do this is by love.
In light of eternity and the riches of His love, how can we then afford not to pay the price? What we have is nothing, and what He has is everything. Shall we not give up our nothing to gain His everything? Has not God loved first? Did He not prove His love at the cross? Let us respond this day to His love, and enter into the reality of a relationship with God. Surely the true price has been paid, and the way made known. The price we pay actually is not even a price at all. It is a real step, however, for God does not force Himself upon us. The door is open. May our hearts respond this day to His love, and enter into the true riches of God Himself.