God is good. God is love. Love God and do good.
There are many lies about the love of God; it is one of the most lied-about topics in existence. Assuming the worst about God’s motives was part of the original deception, a question beginning, “Yea, hath God said…?” And those deceptions have increased until this day. Yet, as much as I could dissect lies indefinitely, I will focus mainly on how we ought to love God.
How Shall I Love Thee?
Eric Druist – May 8, 2017
How shall I love Thee, O my God?
Bring glory to Thy Name?
For all I have to offer Thee
Is but Thine own to claim.
From everlasting, Thou art God;
To Thee, I give my days.
To Thee, infinity belongs;
Unworthy is my praise.
Omnipotence, I give my will,
Far less in strength than Thine.
Omniscience, God Only Wise,
I bow my simple mind.
Thy Holiness, beyond all bright,
Illume my darkened soul.
Thy Graciousness, for human plight,
With power, make me whole.
I have no gift to offer Thee
Thou canst not make from stones.
I ask with great humility
For flesh upon these bones.
I want to rise up with the wind
Of Holy Spirit breath.
That what I do in praise of Thee,
May save some soul from death.
“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:29-31 KJV
There are several interesting comparisons to be drawn between our love for God and our love for others.
1 John 4:19 says, “We love him, because he first loved us.” Matthew 5:46 states, “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?” Love initiates contact. It does not simply wait to be loved. It is not entitled; it is gracious; it is evangelistic. God reached out to us in love; we should reach out to others in love.
Mark 12:30 instructs us to love God “…with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength…” The very next verse says to “love thy neighbour as thyself.” Our command to love God is limitless; He is God. Our command to love others may be agape, but they are not God and should not be considered as such. But do remember this, “Let each esteem others better than themselves.” It takes good old-fashioned J.O.Y.: “Jesus first, yourself last, and others in between.”
John 14:15 says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Act 5:29 states, “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” Whether we are in a position of God-ordained authority or not, the first commandment still applies first: love God.
Now, I have dwelt mostly on the first commandment here, and I haven’t said much regarding the second, but there is a vital connection between the two. 1 John 4:21 says, “And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” Learning to love our brother is a vital, practical part of—and an analog for—learning to love God. Just make sure you don’t get distracted. Beware the snares and tares.
One last observation: unity in the body of Christ is much like unity between husband and wife. As we draw nearer to God, we will draw nearer to each other. As we crucify the carnal and take on the spiritual—by the Spirit of God, to be clear—we become one, spiritually. Our love for God unites us.
– Eric Druist