Have you ever asked someone if they loved you? Even if you never asked, no doubt you have wondered, do they love me? When most people hear the question, Do you love God? They may feel guilty, thinking they need to do more for God. But what is first doing or loving?
1 John 4:19, “We love, because He first loved us.”
For us to love someone, we need to know them as lovable. Many people do not realize God is lovable. Some of us have a distorted picture of God, thinking He is demanding, judgmental, and punitive, who doesn’t care.
John 14:23, “Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our home with him.”
Did you notice that Jesus did not say those who love Him will “always perfectly obey My word,” but they will “KEEP MY WORD”? Those who genuinely love the Lord will make mistakes, fail, and sin, but they will not walk away from the WORDS of the Lord because He first loved us.
Our obedience to God’s word is not the basis for Him loving or accepting us; the key is His GRACE and MERCY for us. Many of us have the wrong picture of God and have not discovered the truth about who He is and what He has done for us.
BIG QUESTION: DO WE LOVE GOD? Here are some questions that I hope will help us to evaluate and assess our love of God.
How does my life demonstrate that God is my highest priority?
Have I surrendered my life to God?
Do I regularly spend time in God’s Word?
Do I have a deep desire to spend time in God’s presence?
Do I know God is with me even if I don’t sense Him?
Am I the same person in public as in private?
Am I quick to confess things in my life that aren’t Christ-like?
Do my finances demonstrate that God is a high priority in my life?
Do I allow God’s Word to guide my thoughts and change my actions?
Am I able to praise God during difficult times and see them as growth opportunities?
Has my prayer time changed how I view and interact with the world?
Do I make good choices when I am tempted to do wrong?
Deuteronomy 11:13, “It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul.”
Joshua 23:11 “So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the Lord your God.”
Mark 12:30 “and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.”
1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.”
Living the Christian life is not, and never has been, about finding the right combination of words! It is about encountering the living and loving God.