The good news of the gospel is not only that God loves us, but that we can love Him too. He told us to love Him like no other. He knew we would serve, obey, and follow the One we love.
Loving God involves affections, that is, the engagement of emotions. Are you stirred in your heart to worship Him as you consider His greatness? Are you occasionally moved to tears by an awareness of His sacrifice for your sin? Is there a sense of awe and wonder deep within as you read His Word and quiet yourself in prayer?
Loving God involves the stimulation of mind. Study, read, and search the Scriptures where He is revealed. You are a disciple, a learner, of who Christ is and what He seeks to do in your life.
Loving God involves the will. You do what He says, whether you feel like it and whether you understand all the implications. The disciples put down their belongings and followed Christ long before they came to full love or knowledge of Him. That is the same lifestyle you are called to imitate today.
God wants you to love Him. He commands you so. You can do this because even when you stumble and fail, He loves you. Knowing that should arouse you to renewed devotion to a Savior who takes great delight in His children.
Prayer: Stir my heart, O God. Let me never lose the sense of wonder and awe of being in Your presence.
Because he has set his love upon Me,
therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high,
because he has known My name. (Ps. 91:14)
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Ps. 73:25-26)
Charles Stanley, A Gift of Love: Reflections for the Tender Heart (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008).
I have just completed a series of lessons on the theme of Loving God. They are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions, as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription service. For a medium-sized church, lesson subscriptions are only $10 per teacher per year.