Sunday, August 31, 2008

How God Spells Love

Loving God is a very difficult thing. I mean, how do you love someone you can’t see, feel, or touch? For many people loving God is an abstract thing. In reality, loving God is a very practical matter. Sometimes we have an emotional response to God when we’re singing along with some worship music. Some people feel close to God and they would say that is a feeling of love. And it probably is for them.

But how does God define our love for him? He spells our love for him like this:


Biblically speaking loving God has more to do with our actions than our emotions. Look at these simple verses:
1 Samuel 15:22-23a (NLT)
22What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams. 23Rebellion is as bad as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as bad as worshiping idols.

John 14:15 (NIV)
If you love me, you will obey what I command.

1 John 5:3 (NIV)
This is love for God: to obey his commands.

2 John 1:6 (NIV)
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his (God’s) commands.

So on a practical level, here are some ways we can love God better…

Keep your word to people

Matthew 5:37 (NIV)
Simply let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No.”

Put God’s agenda above your own

Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness…

Pay your taxes

Mark 12:17 (NIV)
Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.

Honor God with your Tithe

Proverbs 3:9 (NIV)
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.

Follow Christ in Baptism

Matthew 3:13-17 (NIV)
13Then Jesus came from Galilee to be baptized by John. 14But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. 16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water…. 17and a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Reconcile your relationships

Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV)
31Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. 32Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Maintain your morality

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 (God’s Word Translation)
3It is God’s will that you keep away from sexual sin as a mark of your devotion to him. 4Each of you should know that finding a husband or wife for yourself is to be done in a holy and honorable way, 5not in the passionate, lustful way of people who don’t know God. 7God didn’t call us to be sexually immoral but to be holy. 8Therefore, whoever rejects this {order} is not rejecting human authority but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
Now there’s some food for thought.

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