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“Reciprocation”

To reciprocate means  to “give in return,” to “respond,” to “give back,”  or, to “reply.”  In the context of Biblical love (agape love), reciprocation is a necessity else genuine love does not exist in the relationship.  For example:  A man may genuinely love a woman, but if the woman does not “reciprocate” that love, the relationship will suffer.

The same is true in our relationship with God.  God loves us.  If you doubt the genuineness of His love, just consider the Cross.  However, if we do not reciprocate that love, our relationship with Him will suffer.

The question becomes: “How do we reciprocate God’s love?”  In our own minds, we can think of a lot of ways, but the only way that has any value is the way given in the Bible and the Bible gives only one way to demonstrate our love for God.  “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments” (1John 5:3).  “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me (John 14:21).  “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word” (John 14:23).

Many verbalize their love for God while at the same time ignoring His word. “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (1John 3:18).  To coin a phrase we conclude: “Actions speak louder than words.”  “The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected.” (1John 2:4-5).

–Toby Miller