Love the Lord your God by Pastor Dave
“…. ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind;’ …..”
Luke 10: 27
Do you remember a time when you realised that you loved someone? I don’t just mean a romantic love, it may be love for a friend or a family member. What was it like, what was it that drew you to them that caused you to love them? I think that it is reasonable to say that we need to know a person to some degree to have genuine love for them; the greater we know them oftentimes the more we love them. It is the same with God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is why we looked at who He is last week. This week we will look at how we might love God in a very real relationship.
Jesus highlighted the above as the ‘greatest commandment,’ (Matthew 22: 36-38). How do we obey such a commandment? Well the Lord teaches that we show our love for the Lord by obeying Him (John 14: 23 & 15: 9-10); BUT there is far more to this than simple obedience. We love God because He first loved us (1 John 4: 19) and it is this love that helps us to obey Him and remain in Him. This results in real joy for us (John 15: 11); a cycle of blessing. This love we have is rooted in understanding His love for us and in knowing Him. So as we begin our relationship with God through the Lord Jesus it is so important to spend time with Him in His presence, studying His Word, praying, being in His Creation and in His body, the Church. Absence does eventually make the heart grow cold and while He is never absent from us we need to make every effort not to be absent from Him but to give ourselves to Him.
Jesus calls us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. This means that we work at our relationship with God, that we give Him our hearts (our will), our soul (our lives so that our spirit joins with His Spirit) and mind (so that we think like Jesus Christ – as we have looked at in earlier blogs). As in all relationships we can make the mistake of being in it for what we can get out of it. With God we can make the main purpose of our relationship to be one where we simply want God to make everything the way we want it to be for ourselves. God shows us that self-sacrificial love is true love. When we truly give ourselves wholly to God, wanting only His will and glory, that is when we really begin to know Him, His love and find true joy and freedom. This happens over time as our relationship deepens; it is why we are to love with all our strength in obedience. Remember God is love (1 John 4: 8).
To Ponder: Pray through Psalm 84 (saying and adapting each verse as a personal prayer); what does this reveal to you about your love for and knowledge of God? How might you deepen this love and relationship?
Pray: Lord in your mercy reveal yourself to us so that we may know your love. As we receive your love enable us to love you in return and to give you our hearts, souls, minds and strength. Fill us with joy and freedom as we dwell in your love, we humbly ask through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen
Praise: Love the Lord
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAbeFfsqLdc
Goodness of God
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f4MUUMWMV4
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.