There is a difference between trying to love Jesus by obeying him and obeying him because you love him. We misunderstand this all the time. We hear Jesus say, "If you love me you will obey my commandments" and what we end up hearing is "Obey me to love me". What Jesus was doing was giving us a means to measure our heart condition: If we love him our great desire will be to obey him. If it is not our desire then we know something is wrong.
What we often end up doing is trying to conform our behaviour to Jesus' commandments instead of allowing our heart to be transformed by his love. It is always about the heart condition. It is always about love. Jesus stated that he who has been forgiven much will love much and this is really the starting premise to the most incredible relationship you could ever experience. If we realize the wonder and depth of his forgiveness, we will not have to try to love Jesus, it will flow abundantly from us. If we do not realize the amount we have been forgiven, we will try hard but always fail to love as he desires us to love, and will will be mere actors in our obedience.
Obedience always comes from a heart changed by love, it is never a matter of obedience changing the heart. Jesus taught a lot about this:
"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." (John 14:21)
Don't rush that verse; read it over a few times. In fact, it would do you well to hide it in your heart by memorizing it today. It is another key foundational understanding in our journey of faith. Obedience is not a means to an end but a measuring post to the condition of our heart. Obedience to Yahweh tells us all is well, that our love is authentic. Don't miss the results of a surrendered heart of love: We are loved by the Father and Jesus, and Jesus reveals himself to us.
It is simple, true and too often misunderstood. Don't obey Jesus because he is King and you feel forced. Yahweh doesn't force us to do anything and everything acceptable to him must come from our free choice. Instead, learn to love him so that your obedience is a fruit of that love and you will discover greater truths and more exciting things than you thought possible. Let's get it right.