"I do love God," said a little girl to her papa one day when he had been talking to her about loving God. "Perhaps you think so, Maria." "Oh, I do, indeed I do, Papa!" "Suppose, my child, you should come to me and say, 'Dear Papa, I do love you,' and then go away and disobey me? Could I believe you?" "No, Papa." "Well, dear, how can I believe you love God when I see you every day doing those things which He forbids? You know, the Bible says, 'If ye love me, keep my commandments.'"
How many of us fail to show our love for God because we do not keep His commandments?He tells us to love Him with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our might. The best proof of this love is to obey His commands, one of which is to love Him. The Psalms also speak much of loving God. Psalm 31:23 instructs, “Love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.” And Psalm 145:20, “The Lord preserveth all them that love him.”
This command is so important that Christ reinforces it in each of the first three gospels when the lawyer came to Him and asked Him which was the greatest commandment. In Matthew 22:37-38, Christ responds, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” In John 14:15, He adds, “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” and in John 14:21, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.”
The Apostle John takes it a step further in 1 John 2:5, “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected.” Here’s that perfect love that “casteth out fear” of 1 John 4:18. Two verses prior, John says, “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
Love the LORD
Love the LORD with all thine heart Is what the Word commands.
Give to Him the praise that’s due With all that’s in thy hands.
Show to Him a heart that’s full Of love so strong and sure
By living here a holy life That’s right and clean and pure.
Love the LORD with all thy soul – To Him above give praise.
Extol Him for His mercies fine, And love Him all thy days.
Give Him thanks for all He’s done – With all thy soul do tell –
Exalt Him over all the world For saving thee from hell.
Love the LORD with all thy might, Yet not thy strength alone.
Put on the righteousness of Christ, And stand before His throne.
For in the strength of His Dear Son, We’ll worship Him above,
And give to Him the proper praise With heart so full of love.
© 2006 Paul Stultz
Quote – “God is love. If love is absent, God is absent.” - Unknown