How do we reciprocate God's love? Jesus said:
If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15).
Peter denied Jesus three times (Luke 22:61) before He was crucified. The risen Christ asked Peter three times if he loved him, and three times Peter said yes:
He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep (John 21:17).
Jesus loved Peter, just like He loves us. Jesus heard Peter say that he loved Him three times, and three times Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep. Did Peter do what Jesus asked Him to do? Did he reciprocate God's love? Keeping Jesus' commandments means that we love Him. Referring back to opening text, Jesus said if we love Him, we will obey His commandments. That's how we reciprocate His love for us.
On the day of Pentecost, approximately ten days after Jesus told Peter to "feed His sheep", Peter did just that when he preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Jesus' death, burial and, resurrection, in the first sermon (Acts 2:14-41) in the New Covenant. After the multitude asked Peter and the other disciples what they should do (Acts 2:37), Peter preached Acts 2:38 and about three thousand sheep were fed, they were saved (Acts 2:41).
It is important to verbalize "I love Jesus" in our daily walk with Him. We must though reciprocate His love for us by actually doing what He instructs us to do. We know that:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).
So when the Bible commands us to do such things as:
but we do not obey, can we really say that we love Jesus? We simply are not reciprocating the love that He has for us when we don't obey Him.