No man more truly loves God than he that is most fearful to offend Him.
O Lord our God, grant us grace to desire Thee with our whole heart; that, so desiring, we may seek, and seeking find Thee; and so finding Thee may love Thee; and in loving Thee, may hate those sins from which Thou hast redeemed us.
He loves Thee too little who loves anything together with Thee, which he loves not for Thy sake.
People who truly love God will willingly serve Him, excitedly tell others about Him, and long to worship Him (John 14:15).
Here is a spiritual principle: We cannot exercise love unless we are experiencing grace. You cannot truly love others unless you are convinced that God’s love for you is unconditional, based solely on the merit of Christ, not on your performance. John said, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Our love, either to God or to others, can only be a response to His love for us.
Transforming Grace, NavPress, 1991, p. 132. Used by permission of NavPress – www.navpress.com. All rights reserved. Get this book!
Have you ever thought about what it means to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind? I don’t think any of us fully plumb the depths of that commandment, but here are some obvious aspects:
1. Your love for God transcends all other desires (see Exodus 20:3).
2. Like David, you long to gaze upon His beauty and seek fellowship with Him (see Psalm 27:4).
3. You rejoice in meditating on His Word, and, like Jesus, you rise early to pray (Psalm 119:97, Mark 1:35).
4. You always delight to do His will, regardless of how difficult it may be (see Psalm 40:8, NASB).
5. A regard for His glory governs and motivates everything you do – your eating and drinking, your working and playing, your buying and selling, your reading and speaking – and, dare I mention it, even your driving (see 1 Corinthians 10:31).
6. You are never discouraged or frustrated by adverse circumstances because you are confident God is working all things together for your good (see Romans 8:28).
7. You recognize His sovereignty in every event of your life and consequently receive both success and failure from His hand (see 1 Samuel 2:7; Psalm 75:6-7).
8. You are always content because you know He will never leave you or forsake you (see Hebrews 13:5).
9. The first petition in the Lord’s Prayer, “Hallowed be your name,” is the most important prayer you pray (see Matthew 6:9).
Copied from The Gospel for Real Life by Jerry Bridges, © 2002, p. 26-27. Used by permission of NavPress – www.navpress.com. All rights reserved. Get this book!
Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace; it cost God the Cross of Jesus Christ before He could forgive sin and remain a holy God… When once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vice, constrained by the love of God.
Love in Scripture is never defined as taking advantage of another’s care, abusing their trust, or imposing on their generosity. If we knowingly continue in flagrant wrong under the presumption that “It won’t matter, because God always forgives His children,” we must question our commitment to Him. There is no human assurance that His love covers us when there is no evidence of our love for Him.
The Power of Mercy by Bryan Chapell taken from Holiness by Grace by Bryan Chapell, copyright 2001, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. Page 195.|The Power of Mercy by Bryan Chapell taken from Holiness by Grace by Bryan Chapell, copyright 2001, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. Page 195.
The fundamental response to God’s radical love for us is for us to radically love Him.
Discipling, ©9Marks. Website: www.9Marks.org. Email: email@example.com. Toll Free: (888) 543-1030. Used by Permission. Page 15.
God’s commands are given as a means of grace so that we might grow in godliness and show that we love Him.
Piety’s Pattern by Kevin DeYoung taken from The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung, copyright 2012, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 45.
A true love of God must begin with a delight in his holiness, and not with a delight in any other attribute; for no other attribute is truly lovely without this.
Real Christians do not first see that God loves them, and later on find out that He is lovely. They first see that God is lovely, that Christ is excellent and glorious. Their hearts are captivated by this view of God, and their love for God arises chiefly from this view. True love begins with God and loves Him for His own sake. Self-love begins with self, and loves God in the interests of self.
It is Christ who is to be exalted, not our feelings. We will know Him by obedience, not by emotions. Our love will be shown by obedience, not by how good we feel about God at a given moment. “And love means following the commands of God.” “Do you love Me?” Jesus asked Peter. “Feed My lambs.” He was not asking, “How do you feel about Me?” for love is not a feeling. He was asking for action.
Discipline – The Glad Surrender, Revell, 1982, p. 148. Get this book!
He does not love us if we love Him. He loves us with an unconditional love; therefore, we should love Him. The message of the covenant is one of God’s totally free grace to His people. Of course, it calls for a response of total commitment. But notice the order: God’s covenant love is not the result of our commitment; it is the cause of it. The pattern is, “I will, therefore you should;” not “I will, but only if you will first.”
The foundation of our love for the Lord lies in the recognition of His holiness, our sinfulness, and His grace…those who are forgiven much, love much.
Our obedience to God’s commands is the expression of trusting Christ. It is not our words but our deeds that stand the test of Christ’s gaze. Love of Jesus is measured by obedience to what he commands (John 14:15 and 15:14). "He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me" (John 14:21). Not even miracles can substitute for doing what God commands (Matt. 7:22).
Many say they have a love for God, but their love is only pleasure in God as the giver of good gifts and pleasant circumstances. This type of love is really a love of self because God is not the supreme object of the appreciation. It is merely a love for God as a provider, a Santa Claus; it is not a biblical love.
Nothing is of greater importance than loving God! If we fail to take this seriously, we may find at the end of our lives that all of our works counted for nothing… [However] He wants us to be before we do. Love first!
Every Christian would agree that a man’s spiritual health is exactly proportional to his love for God.
When I have learned to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. Insofar as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased.
On the whole, God’s love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for Him.
Any sensationalism inevitably is frustrated by the law of diminishing returns. People are never satisfied. They always want one more sign, one more miracle, one more show. To have maintained His influence over the people by the use of miracles, Jesus would have had to produce greater and greater sensations. Because the natural, carnal heart can never be satisfied, this year’s miracle would have become next year’s bore. His followers would only have been lovers of sensation, not lovers of God.
These orders [love for God and love for money] are diametrically opposed. The one commands you to walk by faith; the other to walk by sight. The one to be humble; the other to be proud. The one to set your affections on things above; the other to set them on the things that are on the earth. The one to look at the things unseen and eternal; the other to look at the things seen and temporal. The one to have your conversation in heaven; the other to cleave to the dust. The one to be careful for nothing; the other to be full of anxiety. The one to be content with such things as you have; the other to enlarge your desires. The one to be ready to distribute; the other to withhold. The one to look at the things of others; the other to look at one’s own things. The one to seek happiness in the Creator; the other to seek happiness in the creature. Is it not plain? There is no serving two such masters.
To love God does not mean to meet His needs, but rather to delight in Him and to be captivated by His glorious power and grace, and to value Him above all other things on earth. All the rest of the commandments are the kinds of things that we will do from our hearts, if our hearts are truly delighted with and resting in the glory of God’s grace.
Desiring God, 1996, p. 259, Used by Permission, www.desiringGod.org. Get this book!
Love is the overflow of joy in God that meets the needs of others… Or to say it another way: we do not merely seek to love in order to be happy, but we seek to be happy in God in order to love.
Why I Love the Apostle Paul, Copyright 2019, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org. Page 53.
God created you for the first and greatest commandment, to be a lover of God.
One Thing, Christian Focus, © Enjoying God Ministries, 2004, p. 151, www.enjoyinggodministries.com. Used by Permission.
Loving God requires a loving God. We will be passionate for Him only so far as He is passionate for us. To love God as we were made to love Him requires an antecedent love in God for those whom He has made. He must take the initiative. He must reveal the depths and extent of His commitment to us and the delight in His heart for broken people. Only then will our slumbering and self-centered souls be aroused to seek Him with all our hearts and relish the revelation of Himself in the person of His Son, the man Christ Jesus.
One Thing, Christian Focus, © Enjoying God Ministries, 2004, p. 149, www.enjoyinggodministries.com. Used by Permission.
A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver.
The great of this world are those who simply loved God more than others did.
We judge God’s love and faithfulness by how many of our desires have been met. When our desires do not materialize, our words are telling. Angry, accusing words reveal the idols in our hearts – so do selfish prayers couched in pious and deferential language. Too often, it is not God’s will that we want, but our will made possible by God.
Love is the only thing in which we can retaliate with God. If God be angry with us, we must not be angry again; if He chide us, we must not chide Him again; but if God loves us, we must love Him again. There is nothing in which we can answer God again, but love. We must not give Him word for word, but we must give Him love for love.
A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 175.