Last week we looked at love and relationships. Briefly, we looked at the full definition of love from 1 Corinthians 13, but to sum it up – selfishness is the opposite of love. Love is a choice; love is the giving of yourself to someone or something.
Moving from last week’s theme of our relationships with spouses let’s move on to our relationship with God.
When asked which commandment was the greatest, Christ responded, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
The first and greatest thing God wants us to do is to love Him. How do we do this? If love is more than a gooey feeling; if love is giving ourselves to someone else; how do we give ourselves to God?
A person can only truly love God when they realize God loves them (1 John 4:19).
When a person sees the love God has for them and makes the choice to love Him in return, this is when they, by faith, give themselves to Him. Their life is no longer a thing of selfishness; it becomes an outpouring of their love for God. This is the saving faith that leads to repentance (Matthew 3:8; 9:13; 21:32, Mark 1:15; 2:17; 6:12, Luke 5:32; 13:3-5; 15:7-10; 24:47; Acts 3:19; 11:18; 20:21, 2 Corinthians 7:10, 2 Peter 3:9).
Because of our faith in God; because of the love we have for Him, our lives are no longer self-centered but centered on God. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
A born again Christian does what God wants him to do, not out of a sense or duty or to gain favor with God. A Christian follows God because he loves God. As Jesus said in John 14:15. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
This love we have for God will give us the desire to do things for God.
Among these things will be:
The reading and study of the Bible – Psalm 119:97, “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.”
Notice how the love for God’s Word causes the psalmist to have a desire to be reading it always. Is reading the Bible a drudgery to you? If it is, it’s more than likely a symptom of a much larger spiritual problem.
Showing love toward other Christians – 1 John 5:1-2, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.”
Have you ever walked into a church on egg shells? Everyone is watching what they say in fear of saying something that will make people mad. This attitude within a church is not a Christ-like attitude. It is a spirit of fear and a spirit of fear is not from God (2 Timothy 1:7).
Doing work in the church – Psalm 84:10, “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
A Christian, because of the love they have for God would rather do the most menial job in the church than do nothing at all. Often when people look for a church, they will look at what the church can provide for them. Is the music entertaining? Will the kids enjoy it? Maybe our thoughts should lean toward asking, “How can we serve the Lord here? What can I do to help this church give more honor and glory to God?”
When it comes to God is He an afterthought or the first thought? You will always think of those you love first. When it comes to reading the Bible or going to church do you feel you must do these things, or are they things you want to do? People want to spend time with those they love.
How is your relationship with God? Do you love Him? Are you saved?