Hi friends, I thought I'd open a topic for a change and see how you all want to respond.
Most of us have heard that Jesus commanded us to Love God. But, that can seem very hard to grasp. Even Christians who have been in the faith for a long time can struggle to understand that.
So, how do you define "Loving God"? and how do you actively practice "Loving God"?
Do you think this is different for a new believer, versus someone who has been in the faith for a long time? What verses of scripture inspire you to Love God?
Looking forward to the discussion...
Edit: so, Jesus taught that we are to "Love the Lord your God with all....", right? What I'm getting at, is personalizing that. I'd like the community to discuss what that means from a real and personal point of view. Not merely theoretical.
Edit 2: many talk about "loving God" in these terms:
a) how they feel about God and his work in their lives.
b) how they love people.
But the command is to "Love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength" and the second command is "to Love our neighbor as ourself".
So, I reiterate my question, how do we Love God? What does that look like in an active on-going sense? It seems to me that if we are focused on people, we are missing the part about Loving God, right? What say you?
Excellent discussion! I thought everyone would have jumped on this one already. This is a beautiful topic family and I am very interested on hearing your thoughts about it. Please share your love for the One that loves us so well.
My Goodness Brother Scribe! hahahaha,...;)
You have touched on such a broad subject Dear Brother; I wont even try to answer all of the questions; it'd turn into a blog of testimonies,.... *Smiles*
To love God with all my Heart, Mind , Soul & Strength; ok I shall try;...
Heart, for me means to look into the face of pure innocence; like that of a baby, pure of thought, no hate, no anger, No thoughts of vengence, war, or anybad thing that destroys the goodness brought forth in their demeaner/ smiles, happiness: etc,...
Mind, to me means to turn my thoughts towards what He would expect of me, to follow in His sons footsteps no matter what the cost to me or my wellbeing,
Soul; means to me, the deepest recesses of my core that longs to be with Him in heaven,....
Strength means to me My convictions; I will not waver on as far as keeping His honor ever before me; praying for others, helping, giving with a cheerful heart, even those times when we may not feel like it; Loving, caring nurturing one another, always encouraging others that they are worthwhiole, and important to the wellbeimg of so many who may even depend on them, and others they may not know, or may never know. It Also means that I will not fail to acknowledge my Lord when others may flee in terror, kinda like joan of Arc did, I will take ths stake if Father wishes. I will not deny Him. I cant; I love Him too much, He's done too many things, for & to me, he gave Jesus for my sake, and that of my family alone that I would be a poor child indeed to refuse.
God is pure Love, and heaven is pure LOve, and we must become as pure love to enter in the gates as Jesus said we must become as these little children , for heaven was made for just such as these,...;)
I know it is a small thing, but I didnt wish to go further; didnt want to put anyone alseep,...
Good words indeed. I would like to add a little something and that is that , even if your words would put someone to sleep what better way would there be to fall asleep than with the words of praise to God sounding from the lips one of His children ringing in our ears.
God bless you dear sister.
Awwe shah, God love you dear brother, I agree; just sometimes its hard for me to keep it short ;)
Amanda, you have picked up on part of the background to my question: is going to church with a Bible tucked in my arm the same as Loving God? On the other hand, is my Love of God the same as how I treat people? Are they synonymous?
I do want to say one thing in regard to your own personal struggle about people. We are a fickle bunch and some folks who are putting on the bravest faces are really dying inside. Don't stop reaching out and encouraging others. You never know how much you may be the one person that gives them courage. They may not be able to tell you how much they need your encouragement. Or, they may be darn selfish and need to see that they could learn something.
But - please - leave that in the hands of the Holy Spirit! Ask Him for the courage you need and for the care you need. He will send it - usually from other people and in other ways. Most of the time, He wants you to realize that you need it from Him. If you are just getting thanks and praise from the folks you encourage, then you are merely "doing as the pagans do" (as Jesus said in Matthew 5:46).
You see, Jesus wants to have that relationship with you and through you that is not dependent on the responses of others. This is His way of keeping you close to Him, but also of preserving your reward. If you get rewarded by men on earth, there is no reward in Heaven. But, when you do things for Him and you leave the results in His hands, you have a reward in Heaven that cannot be taken away.
Blessings, no one is better than you - you are chosen by the Prince of Heaven.
Amanda, I didn't mean to imply that you did - I was speaking in generalities. Forgive me for coming across that way.
What I'm trying to say is that I am convinced that the Lord often let's us minister without appreciation for the purpose of protecting us from that.
A case in point that I am thinking of is the way that Mother Teresa lived: she became famous without trying, after many years of ministering in isolation. In her writings, she says that she rarely had a sense of God having been close to her and she often doubted her own faith. Yet, I see that Jesus honored her greatly, entrusting great responsibility to her - to the point that she was given the opportunity to speak to princes and presidents. In the end, she was honored more than Diana, Princess of Wales, who died shortly before her.
I watched the state funeral that India held for her, and it was marvelous; their nation stood still and honored her as one people. If a nation such as India would honor her so profoundly, imagine how profoundly Christ will honor those who have "stored up treasures in Heaven".
It's just my thought.
I have seen some excellent definitions and really enjoy the very simple and basic ones such as where Miles N saying " Jesus said that if we love Him we are to keep His commandments. And whatever we have heard from Him , do it. We express our love through faith and obedience. It's that simple."
I would like to add just a little to this excellant explanation. I am assuming that Miles meant by ' whatever we have heard from Him , do it . " to mean not just His word , but the revelation His Spirit gives us when His Word doesn't exactly address a specific situation. By that I simply mean some of the every day things we faces aren't specifically ' spelled out' for with definite scriptures , but the Spirit will lead us in how to deal with the situation.
I would say , in light of the previous comment , that we can express our love by sincerely praying the prayer that David did in the 19th Psalm . After acknowledging all the wisdom and benefit to be gained by reflecting on the Word of God; and by acknowledging that God alone can give us guidance in dealing with sin and other ' secret errors' ( David's words not mine) David offers the simple heart felt prayer that should be the prayer of us all.
It states simply ;
" Let the WORDS of my mouth and the MEDITATION of my heart be ACCEPTABLE in YOUR sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer." ( caps mine)
Also in Psalm 139 : 23 -24
" Search me , O God, and know my heart: try me and know my anxieties:
And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. "
In order to recive the blessings from God we must search for all the answers from Him and rest in the confidence that , as we submit our lives to HIS scrutiny and guidance , that He will lead us in the ways that please Him and will lead to a life pleasing to Him. That is , as Miles stated, if we obey the 'revelation ' that God gives us through seeking to please Him above all else.
If we allow God to search our hearts and let Him reveal all things to us we will ,by simply nature of that action, enter into the fellowship with Him that He desires and the opportunity that Jesus paid the price to avail to us.
In conclusion , we show our love by seeking His face in all things and then acting on what He reveals by either written word or revelation of the Spirit.
These are simply my opinions.
God bless you , my friend.
Charles, I think you make an excellent point: "we show our love by seeking His face in all things and then acting on what He reveals by either written word or revelation of the Spirit."
Scribe this is an excellent question. It's difficult to find the words to answer it...
How do we define our Love for God?
I would have to say by our actions. These stem from our heart, which is where our motivations also come from.
Practically, this can look like praying, telling others about Jesus. sharing what He does in our lives, Participating in corporate worship, sacrifice, studying to learn about Him, feeding hungry people, helping those who need it, serving, staying away from the things that can leads us astray. etc...
We have to be careful though,, this type of thing can quickly become "if I do these things than I am truly a believer".. equated to being 'good enough'. But that is not what I'm saying here. :-)
It's the motivation behind the things we do.
I do these things not because I am striving to be 'good enough'. I do them because I Love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.
I have been told by people that when I share Jesus with them my whole face lights up.. It's because I Love Him. I can see their face begin to brighten as we talk. It seems to make them hunger for Him.. I have seen that in others..and it is a beautiful thing... and I pray that in those moments the Lord plants a seed that someone else will come along and water.
When we share the Lord with others unashamedly, He is truly Glorified. There is an inner light that nothing else in this world could ever compete with..not even close.
Carla, good thoughts - thanks for sharing.
What strikes me is that, for the most part, we seem to define this in terms of how we reach out to other people. But, the command is to Love God - then Jesus says the second is "Like It", but not that it is "the same". So, according to Jesus, when we are loving our neighbor it is not the same as loving God.
Now, I'm not trying to be supercilious with needless conjecture here. But rather to develop the thought on how we actively pursue a love of God, without mistaking that as being the same as loving our neighbor. Frankly, I'm having a hard time distinguishing the two in many ways.
It also seems to me that simply having a passive appreciation for God is not the same as "Loving" God. Jesus calls us to obey this command with all of our hearts, all of our souls and all of our minds. Apparently, he's saying this is an act of total devotion.