Loving God.

LOVING GOD/ The Believer’s Conduct & Attitude, Lesson 3

Key Text:  “Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:37–38, NKJV)

Heart Questions: What is the meaning of this text? What does loving God really mean? Is loving God a command, an emotion, a feeling, or a decision? How can we truly love God?

 

“Jesus used “heart,” “soul,” and “mind” to express the dimensions of our love for God. The terms should be taken together to mean, “Love God with your whole being… The word for “love” is agapao, totally unselfish love, a love of which human beings are capable only with the help of the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit helps us love him as we ought. God wants our warmhearted love and devotion, not just our obedience. The heart is the center of desires and affections, the soul is a person’s “being” and uniqueness, the mind is the center of a person’s intellect. To love God in this way is to fulfill completely all the commandments regarding one’s “vertical” relationship.” – [Bruce B. Barton, Matthew, Life Application Bible Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1996), 442/443]

Action Step: What response do you think this lesson should inspires us to do? [1] Decide: Loving God begins with a decision. One obstacle to loving God is love of this world’s sinful ways. You cannot serve ‘two masters’ (Mt. 6:24); You cannot love God and the world at the same time; it is not going to work — “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.” (1 John 2:15, NLT)

[2] Obey: God commands us to love Him with all our hearts and serve Him alone (Deut. 6:5; 11:1; Josh. 23:11). Beloved, “the person who truly loves the Lord with all his heart and soul and mind is the person who trusts Him and obeys Him. That person demonstrates his love by meditating on God’s glory (Ps. 18:1–3), trusting in God’s divine power (Ps. 31:23), seeking fellowship with God (Ps. 63:1–8), loving God’s law (Ps. 119:165), being sensitive to how God feels (Ps. 69:9), loving what God loves (Ps. 119:72, 97, 103), loving whom God loves (1 John 5:1), hating what God hates (Ps. 97:10), grieving over sin (Matt. 26:75), rejecting the world (1 John 2:15), longing to be with Christ (2 Tim. 4:8), and obeying God wholeheartedly (John 14:21).” – [John F. MacArthur Jr., Matthew, MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985), 3:340].

The Appeal: A mere profession of faith is no proof of genuine love. A person who truly loves God is the one who truly obeys Him. The only evidence (the true attachment to love) is – obedience (doing all God’s will), loving our fellow men, denying ourselves by taking up our cross daily and following the LORD wholeheartedly.

My dear friends, if we claim to love the LORD, we will do so willing, without hesitation, gainsaying, or complaining — doing all that our Heavenly Father requires us to do. Jesus taught His disciples saying – “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). John wrote, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1 John 2:3, NKJV) Do you know the LORD? Do you keep His commandment?

The Gospel’s Voice: What does the LORD say to me today?  My son, the most solid proof you can give of your attachment to and affection for Me is to keep My commandments. The Ten Commandments teaches that love for and obedience to God are inseparable – for I show My “lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments” (Ex. 20:6; cf. Deut. 7:9; Neh. 1:5). A person who belongs to Me will love Me by obeying My commandments. Have you repented of your sins? Do you really love Me? Have you demonstrated that love by ‘keeping/ obeying’ My commandments?

Benediction: “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28) “May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 6:24, NLT)

 

50 Devotional Thoughts on the Believer’s Conduct & Attitude/ Thought # 3: Loving God/ 200C-03 (Deut. 6:5)