By Eric Jinkwen
To Love God (Part 1)
1 John 4:19:
We love Him because He first loved us.
The secret of greatness of all Christians in the kingdom of God is not their great faith, not their long prayers, but it is the depth of their love for God. These are men and women who gave themselves over to God out of love.
What does it mean to love God? To love God means to have a deep affection and reverence for everything that concerns God: His name, His Word, His house, His people, His work and His purpose.
To love God also means having the fear of God. It is a disposition in a man’s heart, the spirit in a man that causes him to submit, reverence and celebrate whatever is of God and also to hate whatever God hates. If all of this is not true of you, you are deficient in your love for God.
For example, one cannot say he loves God when he does not love his neighbor, or does not love going to the house of God. One cannot say that he loves God when he does not love to read, to listen, or to apply the word of God. It is not normal. Loving God means a disposition in a man’s heart that makes God the object of his passion, hunger, and desire.
Like David who said, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”
Do you still pant for God as the deer pants for water? Or your love has grown cold? Let it be revived in Jesus name!
Why should we love God and love Him so strongly?
Our text says “We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
Read also: How to maximize God’s Grace
He already showed us how much He loved us. Someone may be asking,” “Does God really loves me, and then I am in this condition?” You are looking at the wrong proof of God’s love.
Now, the greatest proof of God’s love in our lives is not how well and how wealthy we are today; that will even mean that God loves some unbelievers more than some Christians.
The greatest proof of God’s love to us is not even that He answers our prayers, no! Wealth, good health, and answer prayers are all possible by the application of some truths and principles you need to know.
John wrote, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10).
The same idea was upheld by Paul in Romans 5:8.
So, God loves you and God loves everybody (John 3:16).
Now because Jesus Christ accomplished the work of redemption, we can enjoy what God freely offered us through Him by Grace.
Prayer. Father, thank you for the genuineness and demonstration of your love for me by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Help me Lord to have a deep affection and reverence for everything that concerns God: Your name, Your Word, Your house, Your people, Your work and Your purpose.
Read also: You can have a fresh start with God
Loving God, (Part 2)
Psalms 84:1-2: "How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God."
Today, we shall understand more about how our love for God relates to loving His house.
The sons of Korah who were song writers and musicians in the Tabernacle knew the importance of the Tabernacle. It represented the presence of God. It was the pride of every Jew; the symbol of their power and superiority over nations.
And so they wrote, “How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” From these verses, we see clearly that loving the Tabernacle and it’s courts is a manifestation of the love they had for God. So, lovers of God are those who love the presences of God and the House of God. It is a truth and it must be an evidence in the life of believers.
What are some tests to know if one truly loves God and the House of God?
- When you love the House of God, you will long to go there for worship time. The same affection filled the heart of David. In Psalm 122:1, he said, “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
- When you love the House of God, you will desire to spend time there to meet with God. Later in Psalm 84:10, we read, “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
You see, this behavior today that people rush in and rush out of God’s house is just a manifestation of their shallow affection for God.
People can spend hours every week in their “Djangui” (weekly contribution), village meetings and associations without complaints, but do not have the patience of three hours service. Who is fooling who?
- When you truly love God and His house, you will be willing to sacrifice to make His house beautiful. You know of how much David stored up for God’s house? Find out in 1 Chronicles 29:2.
- When you love God, you will bear the reproach of His house. Psalms 69 : 9 says, “Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up, And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.”
That means having a burning zeal for the house of God and the things of God. You cannot bear those who insult God and the church of God.
Have you ever associated with those who mock the church, mock the house of God? Desist from it and join those who worship in His house tomorrow. Psalms 84:4 says,
“Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You. Selah” Hallelujah.
Prayer: Father, How lovely is Your house, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Grant me grace to worship in your house tomorrow, in Jesus name, amen”
Read also: The seven dimensions of the Holy Spirit
To Love God, (Part 3)
John 21:16 "He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
To love God is never a passive and an indifferent affection we feel in the heart. To say that one loves God, will always mean, one should demonstrate it.
For example, God has demonstrated His love for us by sending His Son to serve and save us. Jesus Himself showed His love for His disciples by washing their feet (serving) and dying for us. Apart from loving God’s house, another evidence of loving God is by engaging in active service for His kingdom.
In our text, we see Jesus asking Simon Peter His disciple, “Do you love me?” This question was asked three times.
All the three times, there was a commission given as a validation of the affirmative response of love.
Feed My lambs
Tend My sheep
Feed My sheep.
What do you think these statements refer to?
A passive and indifferent watch over the sheep and the lambs? No! All the above verses are action verbs. Peter was being recommissioned into ministry, before the final Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-28.
Now, do you love God? Then, you should intentionally and strategically serve His purpose and Kingdom. Notice that, Jesus used two different verbs for the commissioning: “feed” and” tend”. They all mean different actions to be taken strategically to cause the flock of God to be healthy and to grow. You must be intentional and strategic.
What is God calling you to do for the advancement of His kingdom? Remember, He has given you a SHAPE, Spiritual gifts, Heart beat or passions, Abilities or talents, a Personality, and Experiences. He has also given you, finances, materials blessings, a domain of influence: your friends, colleagues, neighbors, relatives and so on. Those are people who are part of your circle of influence. Either physically of virtually, you can reach out to them.
Serving God is not only being called to be a pastor, prophet, or evangelist. You can serve God in any other department of the church. You can serve God through your good works and right attitude in your vocation or profession, remember, from Matthew 5: 13-16, disciples of Jesus are “You are the Salt of the earth… You are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
May God greatly bless you and use you.
Father, thank You that I am the Salt of the earth… I am the light of the world… I will let my light so shine before men, that they may see my good works and glorify my Father in heaven on Jesus name, amen.
Read also: you are created complete in Christ Jesus
To Love God, (Part 4)
I Kings 3:3-4:
And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David…. Now the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place: Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.
Can you imagine a love story where a man always speaks to his wife about his love for her and never does anything at all to prove it. You will tell me that that love is surely a fake love. Love goes with making sacrifices.
In out text, we are told that Solomon loved God. And the next thing that follows is that he sacrificed a thousand offering to God. The love of Solomon for God was not just passive and verbal. Solomon was ready and able to make a huge sacrifice to the God he loved. Where did he copy that attitude from? From his father, David.
Verse 3 says, Solomon walked in the status of his father. Look at what his Father said when it came to giving a sacrifice to God, “Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.”
(2 Samuel 24:24).
David did not want to give a cheap offering to God. See some other examples:
1) The love of Abraham for God cost him his son.
2) The love of Moses for God cost him the pleasures of the palace in Egypt.
3) The love of Jesus for God and God’s people cost Him His life.
What is your love for God costing you?
When one truly loves God, he will sacrifice his time, treasures and talents for God and for what concerns God such as the preaching of the Gospel, the house of God, the people of God, etc.
Look at the reward for loving God and being ready to sacrifice.
Just immediately, God appeared to Solomon. “At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?” Hallelujah! Imagine God asking you, that same question. Oh my God! What will you ask?
Solomon asked for wisdom to lead the people. And you know the rest of the story. I can guarantee you that whatever you have ever sacrificed for God out love and not lust will never be in vain. God will return to you a hundredfold if you do not give up and do not abandon the faith.
Prayer: Father, thank you for your word which says, he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. As I sacrifice to you because of my love for you, I wait for the harvest in Jesus name, amen.
Read also: A place to always be
To Love God, (Part 5)
Genesis 39:9 He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”
We know of the story of the young Joseph in the Bible. A man who truly loved God and desired to keep Himself pure before God. Our opening verse is an except of Joseph’s reply to Potiphar’s wife who mounted pressures on him to have sex with her.
The Bible reveals that, “Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.”
Beloved, every child of God carries a divine mandate and purpose. And because of that, there is a glory and favour around his or her life that can attract temptations and trials. All that the devil wants is to be able to cause you to sin and destroy your future.
Even when there is no witness resist and run away like Joseph. Your love for God should compel you not to follow your feelings but to follow His commandments. Your future and destiny are in God’s word and commandment. And your love for God is key to keep you away from evil.
Joseph understood this and ran away when it was necessary.
Take note that, the love for God is also called, the fear of God. When one truly loves God, there is a reverend fear in his heart for God. Such a one desires to please God at all reasonable cost. We find this truth explain in Deuteronomy 10:12-13 in a question form,
“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good?”
So, we see that to love God goes together with the fear of God, serving God and keeping His commandments. How can people today say that they love God and yet, they cheat, lie, fornicate, bribe?
Jesus said to the disciples in John 14:23-24 “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.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words.” To Love God goes together with keeping His word, in other words, turning away from evil. And Jesus promised to abide and manifest Himself to such a one. May God manifest Himself to you.
Prayer: Father, I truly love you. But my love for you is not deep enough and strong enough to keep me from sinning against you. Please empower me through the Holy Spirit to remain loyal to you in Jesus name, amen!
Read also: The blessings of seeking God
To Love God, Part Six
“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.“
To Love God is the first and great commandment of life. Jesus was answering a lawyer who came to enquire about the great commandment of the Law. It stands out clear that to love God is the first and great commandment. That’s why you must understand this topic, To Love God. The love we must carry for God must be very truthful, sincere and unreserved.
Jesus makes a precision about how the love should be. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” So, that love must be complete and without hypocrisy. Desire to please God more than any other thing. Truly love Him and serve Him.
What are the benefits of loving God sincerely?
- God and His Son will abide in us and manifest themselves to us. (John 14:21-24). No matter what you are going through now, just keep loving God with all your heart. God will show up very soon in your life and change your story. He did not forget Abraham after 25 years. He has not forgotten you.
- Uncommon wisdom and prosperity. Solomon loved God and proved it. God manifested Himself to him and gave him an open check to fill (1 Kings 3-5ff). The result is that Solomon was wiser and wealthier than any man who had ever lived.
- God will lead you into uncommon realisations and achievements (1 Corinthians 2: 9-10). Solomon built a magnificent Temple. You will accomplish the extraordinary. Hallelujah!
- God will turn all things to work together for your good (Romans 8: 28). Any disspointment you have had about work, marriage and any other project, God is turning them for your good. Just remain confident.
- God will establish an everlasting Covenant of promotion, prosperity and protection with you and your family as He did with David (Psalm 89:20ff). God did it with Abraham, Joseph, and Paul, you are the next on the list. Praise the Lord.
Prayer: Father, thank you for causing me to love you with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my mind. I am confident that I am not a loser and will never be a loser loving you, but I am a winner in you all the time in Jesus name, amen!