loving God

What does it mean to love God? The world sings a lot of songs about love: “She loves you yeah yeah yeah”, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one your with,” and, “Endless love.” Many of the world’s songs ask a lot of questions about love, like “How will I know if he really loves me?” or “How deep is your love” or “what’s love got to do with it, it’s just a second-hand emotion.” It’s one thing to say, “God loves you,” but what does it mean for you to love God? How does that work? What does it look like? Do you? We love a lot of things in this world, like westerns or rom-coms, spouses and family, happy endings, or a good meal or presents on the birthday, but I have to think “loving God” should be something more. Shouldn’t it?

If you came to me with these questions about loving God, I’d point you to Deuteronomy 6:4-5, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” And Jesus said this was the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:37. We must focus every ounce of our being, breath, and strength on loving God. ALL your heart, ALL your soul and ALL your might are involved in this. Notice it is a command to love God, which means it is our attitudes and behaviors that we can control, not emotions and “warm fuzzies.” We love God with all we have, bringing our “A game” and leaving it all “on the court” as basketball players do. 100%, over-the-top love for God, nothing less.

Thinking of attitudes and behaviors and obedience, I’d also have to bring up Luke 6:46, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” and 1 John 2:3-6, “By this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” Love for God is measured by obedience. Do you really love God? How are you pegging on the obedience meter?

Finally, I’d have to turn to Psalm 63:1-2. “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.” Love for God is a desire for God. Love for God is treasuring God above all things. God is greater than boats and March Madness. Mick and the Stones complained, “I can’t get no satisfaction,” but loving God is to be wholly satisfied in Him alone as if I had nothing else. If everything was all lost or taken away or broken or destroyed, could I turn to God and say, “I am satisfied in You. I love you?” That’s what loving God is.

Loving God demands all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. It requires obedience and valuing Him above all things and people. It is thankfulness for His grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love shown to you, through His death and resurrection. 1 John 4:7-10, “Love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”