In closing his charge to Israel, Moses says:
15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.
16 If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.
Jesus in giving closing instructions to his disciples says:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
John 14:15. And:
9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Love and obedience do not stand in opposition but rather describe the same heart in action. Note that such an understanding protects against legalism, because God neither seeks nor needs bare behavior. Rather God engenders love which flows out in concrete expression of love.
A husband who “loved” but gave no concrete expression would not love his wife in any meaningful way. Likewise flowers given from a constrained duty would mean nothing good. But a child’s bundle of flowering weeds will cheer her Mother’s heart.