Most of us will celebrate and honor the people we love this week. But let’s remember to honor the One who created the concept. God is love (1 John 4:8). He deserves our first and highest commitment of love.
Jesus told us that loving God was the most important commandment (Luke 10:27), and then added that we should love others as we love ourselves. I’ve often taught that the love we have for others is generated by the love we have for God.
But what would you answer if someone were to ask you “How do I love God?”
God is love
God is love, and we are created in his image. Human beings were given the unique ability to make choices because, without that gift, we couldn’t choose to love. Unfortunately, the ability to choose is also what grants us the ability to sin. And God created us with free wills anyway. That one fact tells us how important love is to God.
But, how do we choose to love God? Why do we need to make that choice?
God doesn’t need our love. He wants our love. God wants us to delight in him.
God is delight-ful
What delights you?
I am delighted to my core when my grandson runs to the front door and I hear him say, “Grandma, Grandma’s here!” When I know my family is safely home after a trip, I am delighted by that news. When I hear that someone is “cancer-free,” I am delighted with joy.
Psalm 37:4 tells us, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Do I get a sense of delight when I consider the holy love of God that has been poured into my life? Absolutely . . . but how often do I take the time to delight in God and receive his blessings?
We should take some time this week to turn off the world and fellowship with the love of our life—the God who created and is that love.
Love isn’t what we do
Where did we get the idea that love = doing something?
This week, millions of flowers will be sold, reservations made, and cards purchased. Don’t get me wrong: if you have a Valentine, you probably need to “do” something about that.
But, is loving God simply about what we do?
Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Jesus did not say, “If you keep my commandments, that means you love me.” That’s why Jesus had such a hard time with the Pharisees. They missed that point entirely!
Obedience is a natural result of loving God, but it isn’t how we love God. The cards, roses, reservations, and boxes of candy that will be purchased this week aren’t love. They are expressions of love. What someone does out of a sense of “duty” isn’t the same as what someone does out of their sense of love.
And God knows our hearts.
Love is what we choose to become
How do we become a person who loves God?
Make that choice. You were created in God’s image with the ability to love. Jesus said loving God is our highest commandment. Choose to love God with a powerful, faithful, unwavering commitment. When you make that choice, God will fill you with the desire to love others.
Become a person who truly, devotedly loves God and the rest of your life will reflect that choice. Max Lucado said, “You change your life by changing your heart.”
Jesus taught us how to love God when he taught us how to pray by saying “Our Father.” Become the loving child of the Creator God and you will love your Abba. Allow your primary identity to be as his adopted, loved child. Imagine his delight when you run to the door of heaven, shouting his name with joy.
As you give valentines this week, make the choice to include your highest expressions of love! God will be delighted to return the love you give.
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him.” —1 Corinthians 2:9