Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. (Mark 12:28-30)
What It Means To Love God
There are many things that can be loved. Inspiring music can stir the soul and a love for music will fill the heart with intense feelings. Food can be loved as much as a person can have a deep preference for certain dishes. People talk about loving to take long walks, enjoying quiet moments in solitude, or immersing themselves in a good book. Love can be casual, it can be intense, and it can be misguided. The many definitions of love can fit inanimate objects to animate objects of desire. It is difficult to define love with a singular meaning as it is best described by the one defining the term.
God desires men to love Him. The meaning of love and how men express that love is as varied as the way men view God. A totem represents an image created by man to define God, thus expressing his meaning of love for God. Love is often a casual acquaintance as a friend enjoys the company of another but without any commitments. God is accepted as a friend without obligations to commit to His word or keep His commandments. Loving God can be measured by the expectations of the Lord showing favor for man, rather than the other way around. God becomes the puppet of man’s desire.
Love for God is seldom without bounds. A man will declare his love for God as long as there are no commitments involved in that love. The world is full of men and women who say they love God and seldom show that love through their lives. God becomes a casual friend or the kindly old man in the 1977 movie starring George Burns. Love for God is bound by the fickle desires of a carnal heart trying to serve two masters. Jesus said it could not be done. Love for God must be complete, whole, absolute, and without reservation. Either a man loves God, or he does not. His words will not define his love. The action of the heart is where the motive of love begins.
When a young couple falls in love, they long to be with one another almost every minute of the day. It is seldom hard to find things to talk about, share together, and there are not enough hours in the day to find time for them. Everyone knows they are in love because they talk about each other often, which shows in their lives. Their faces light up when they see one another. They share everything together. The kind of love they have is a deep feeling of intense longing. They radiate love for one another. God does not want men to love Him. He desires for men to fall in love with Him. There is a world of difference between loving God and falling in love with God. A man can love something without falling in love with it. Marriages filled with problems stem from two people who love one another but have never fallen in love with the other. God wants men to love Him but only in terms of falling in love with Him.
Loving God is an emotional bond that is felt, seen, heard, and exhibited every day in a person’s life. They long to listen to the voice of God through daily meditation on the word. The will of God is foremost in their decisions as they seek to please the God they love. Prayer is a big part of the life of one who is in love with God. They can’t stop talking to the Father. It is not hard to find something to say to God because of their love for Him. Jesus plainly said that a man who loves the Father would keep the commandments of the Father. Why? Because he loves God and desires to please Him. Love radiates in every part of a person’s life because of their love for God. As a couple in love, everyone will know the man and woman who is in love with God. It shows. It manifests itself. It shines in the heart. Do you love God, or are you in love with God? It makes a difference.