"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." - VoltairE

Loving God

Posted by Anne Witton on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 Under: Reflections

“Jesus replied, ‘“Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.”
(Matt 22: 37 - 38)

What does it mean to love God? Maybe some of us would struggle to answer that question.

When I was younger I used to be taken by my Gran to see my great Auntie Nellie. I used to love going there because I knew that at the end of the visit I would be given 20p spends. Did I love Auntie Nellie? The truth is that I didn’t really even know her. I went to her house, not because I particularly wanted to see her but just because I wanted to receive what she gave me.

Do we sometimes approach our relationship with God like that? Do we want him, not for who he is but for what he gives us? Sometimes we forget that we were created to serve God and not the other way around.

Often it is easy to be ego-centric and see ourselves as the centre of our world, trying to fit God around that view. We ask: what has God done for me? The truth is that God should be the centre of our world. We should love God for who he is and not just for what he does for us. It is true that part of our love response to God is thanks and praise for the way he provides for us and answers our prayers, but our relationship with him should be much deeper than just that. God is not some sort of divine cash machine.

If we think of God in that way, then what is our relationship based on when circumstances take a turn for the worst? Has God stopped being Good? Has God stopped being Just? Has God stopped loving us? No - God’s character never changes (Heb 13: 8) which is why we need to love him for who he is in spite of whatever circumstances we happen to be going through. Paul knew this secret:

“I have learned to be content in whatever the circumstances.”
(Phil 4: 11)

Think about any close relationship - marriage, friendship, parent-child - in all these relationships we want to be with the other person, not just because of what we will receive from them, and not just because of what we can give to them, but because we love them and we just can’t stand not being with them. That is why, if we really love God, we shouldn’t find praying and reading the Bible a chore.

A husband doesn’t have to discipline himself to spend time with his wife, a mother doesn’t have to be forced to read a letter from her child and friends don’t feel that it is an unpleasant obligation to have to spend time with each other. They want to be together. Something has gone drastically wrong with our relationship with God if we do not enjoy spending time with him. Here’s a word of encouragement from the Bible:

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
(1 Thess 5: 16 - 18)

In : Reflections 

Tags: love "loving god' commandment relationship 


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