Do you love God?
That’s the question we faced as we sat in the counselling room with a very vexed counsellor. His brow was furrowed as he insisted over and over again that we didn’t. “If you both loved God, we wouldn’t be sitting here again today”. I’ve pondered this question ever since.
What does it mean to love God? I remember reciting the catechism…God made me to know him, love him and serve him…
To love God, we have to know him. It’s not enough to attend church, we have to seek God personally. You can’t love someone you don’t know but the more we get to know him, the more we love him. He reveals himself to us through his living word and we are transformed. There isn’t a one size fits all method for devoting time to reading the word and spending time in Gods presence through bible study, meditation and prayer. Find what suits you and your daily schedules. I know that if I don’t have my quiet time in the morning, it will be increasingly difficult to find the time during the day and I’m mostly a zombie in the evenings after my son is in bed so I know any form of concentration will probably not happen. Find what works for you but make sure you find time for Him in your day.
“You shall love the Lᴏʀᴅ your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might”
Heart: From the heart “flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Loving him starts from within and everything follows thereafter. As we get to know God, our spirit convenes with him and as we receive his free gift of love, we grow more and more in love with Him. Jesus said “Where your treasure is…your heart will be” (Matthew 6:21). Simply put, if we treasure Jesus, our hearts will belong to him and we treasure him by focusing our time, affections, and attention on him.
Soul: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” (Isaiah 55:8) declares the LORD. God doesn’t think the way we do, in fact, a lot of things he does are polar opposites to what a man would intuitively do. Jesus tells us to forgive those who hurt us when we would ordinarily seek vengeance, he says we should turn the other cheek where we would react by striking back, he told us to pray for our enemies and to love others as we would love ourselves. He loved humanity even when he knew we would murder him. Our thoughts and ways can align with Gods but where we should normally express God, we start to express ourselves when we lose communion with Him.
Might: Our might can also be translated as our strength. Strength is about what we can do – it is about our abilities, capacities, capabilities, powers, skills, resources, money and desires. Like the servants who were given talents, we are not to bury them, but use them so they can be multiplied and used to the glory of God. A principle that applies in all situations is “Give and it shall be given unto you!” (Luke 6:38).
In loving him we must serve him. “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Jesus expressed his love through serving people around him. He said ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’.
How do we serve? “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:35). These seem so basic but God calls us to clothe, feed and comfort our neighbour.
We all have spiritual gifts. Pray to God to reveal your spiritual gifts to you which you will use to serve others in the body of christ. In loving others, you are loving God.
Finally, we must obey God and carry out what he has commanded us to do. As long as our will is aligned with Gods will we have no cause to fear, for his plans for us are of good and not of evil and because he loves us we can trust him to perfect every good thing in our lives. All things will work together for good!
Thank you God for first loving me! I pray that you infuse me with your love and help me to treasure you as I should. As I am filled with your love, give me the grace to spread your love around and to love my spouse with the same love that you have shown me. In Jesus’s name. Amen
“How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God… I had rather a day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I had rather lie at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For a sun and a shield is the Lord God; grace and glory he bestows; the Lord withholds no good thing from those who walk in sincerity. O Lord of hosts, happy the men who trust in you!” (Ps.83:1-3;11-13)
REFLECTION: In what ways will you start to express your love for God?
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