What does it mean to love God? Jesus once said that loving God was the greatest command of all (Matt. 22:37,38). No doubt most people, who believe in God, will affirm that they love Him. Many people regularly express their love for God in worship services. This is good, but is it enough? Jesus warned about people who honored Him with their lips, but their hearts were far from Him (Matt. 15.8). They spoke of love, but they did not really possess it. So, what is love? How do we know whether or not we love God?
1 John 3:17 says: "But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?" In my relation to other human beings, if I am not willing to help them - if I don't do for them what they need to have me do - then I don't love them, no matter how much I may say that I do.
This is also true in our service to God. The next verse says: "My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth." Loving God is not just a matter of what we say, but of what we do. It is an everyday way of life.
1 John 5:3 says: "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments..." Do you love God? Your actions answer the question. No one really loves God unless he is diligently studying God's will and obeying it. Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments" -- John 14:15. And again, "...this is love, that we walk after his commandments" -- 2 John 6.
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2/5/2005
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