God’s word commands us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, but we had no natural desire to follow this commandment until He placed that Love within our hearts. The Bible plainly states, “We love him, because he first loved us.” (I John 4:19). Jesus penetrated the hearts of some Jews and told them, “But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.” (John 5:42). The only reason anyone has the love of God in their hearts is because God puts it there. We have a hope in Christ because the love of God is placed within our hearts. Paul explains this in Rom. 5:5: “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
We ask ourselves the question, “Do we love God?” If we answer in the affirmative, then we know we have been the recipients of saving grace in the new birth. It also places us under another obligation which Jesus expresses in John 14:15: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15). We cannot say we love God and then go our own way and do our own thing to the exclusion of others. John tells us the love of God manifests itself in reaching out to others who might be in need. “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (I John 3:17). When we love God and keep His commandments, there is a special manifest love of God that we experience in our lives. Jesus tells His disciples that obviously love Him, “…Â If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:23).
Loving God means also to love His Son and one another as brethren in Christ. John again emphasizes this in I John 4:7: “Â Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” When we do this, we have a great assurance of our eternal standing with God just as we do when we love God and keep his commandments. “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” (I John 3:14).
Loving God also means to love His word and the teachings contained therein. Some love it more than others and some seem to display no love for His word. The love of God may still be present in heart but through the weakness of the flesh, it is not being displayed. This is indeed tragic for anyone. David describes a great benefit that accrues to those who love God’s word, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” (Psalm 119:165). Great peace isn’t something to be taken lightly. There are great treasures hidden in the word of God. When the Lord blesses us to unearth them, we reap a blessing that could not otherwise been enjoyed. “I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.” (Psalm 119:162). Spend some time in His word if you love the Lord God of glory.
So we see that Loving God is a great blessing but comes with obligations as well. We rejoice that He preserves those that love Him and His faithfulness is promised to those that love him and keep His commandments. The Lord brought Israel out of the iron furnace of Egypt because of His love and favour placed upon them. Then He reminds them of His faithfulness and benefits thereof. “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;” (Deut. 7:9)–September 6, 2012–Elder Larry Wise