Most of us believe in God, but how many of us actually love God? It is a very important question for any Christian to answer. We might believe in God, much the same way a child believes in Santa Clause. God then becomes reduced to someone or something that dispenses great gifts to good Christians for their behavior during the year. Or we might believe in Jesus who died on the cross for our sins and He becomes like fire insurance, something you are glad you have, but don’t think much about it until your house catches fire. Then and only then are you glad you have it, the rest of the time you grumble about the premiums and how much it cost you to have insurance.
But to love God goes way beyond seeing God as a jolly good fellow who gives me stuff when I pray and acts like a giant insurance policy floating around somewhere up among the clouds. God is the compassionate King who gave His only Son to die for us that our sin problem could be forgiven and eternal life extended to us. Our response to this generous and wondrous free gift is simply to accept it and rejoice in the pardon. I’ve commented on this verse in a previous post, but it is worth thinking about again, “And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this He set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in Him.” Colossians 2:13-15
It is no wonder that all creation sings the praises and glory of God. He didn’t come into the world to condemn us (see John 3:17) but to redeem us from our sins. What is amazing about grace is that Jesus gave Himself for us while we were yet dead in our sins. But, through His sacrifice we were made alive and our sins forgiven and forgotten being nailed to the cross. Satan’s power over us was broken and Jesus triumphed over him when Jesus died at Calvary, but three days later was raised up as God and Lord of our lives.
To love God is to give Him more than a begrudging hour a week in church, or say grace over your food, or throw a few dollars in the collection plate. To love God is to allow Him to be Lord of your life. Instead of fitting God into some corner of our life, He is to reign through the indwelling Holy Spirit as King of our life. Our actions, our thoughts and everything about us should reflect our love of God. Before anyone gets too freaked out, I’m not talking about quitting your job and standing fourteen hours a day on the sidewalk handing out Christian literature. I’m simply saying that how we treat each other, friends and strangers alike should reflect our relationship with God.
All of us as Christians need a deeper prayer life where we open our hearts up to God and pour out our discouragements and hurts from the trials of our life claiming God’s promise of giving wisdom to all who ask with a sincere believing heart. (see James 1:2-6) It is time we started opening our Bible’s with a desire to claim the words of Scripture for our lives instead of just interesting words that we skim over. For way too long I read the Bible, believed in it, but didn’t understand what transforming power were in those words to anyone who was willing to claim the promises of God. The Bible wasn’t written for our entertainment or to fill an idle morning, it was written to change our lives and draw us close to God so we can approach Him with boldness and confidence in our times of need.
To love God with all our hearts is radical in a world where the general attitude is to do as little as possible to get the most you can. But Jesus calls us to pick up our cross and follow Him. Discipleship is a call to the deepest core of our heart to allow Jesus to dwell within us in all His love. If you’re like me you desire more from your walk with Jesus than the same tired old rituals that we have fallen into. I long to live out His will for me through love and compassion for a broken world, and I believe you do as well. Be courageous and strong, no regrets, no retreat, for our God is an Awesome God!