Do you love God?
I doubt there is a single Christian in the world who would answer this question with a no. But if we’re really being honest, can we truly answer it with a yes either?
And what about our students and children? Do they love Him with all their hearts, souls, and minds?
About a year ago a sobering and humbling realization came to me: I didn’t really love God.
Yes, I would say I loved Him, I served Him, I spent lots of time thinking about Him, and I even loved His Word. But for some reason I just hadn’t been putting any real effort into simply loving God.
I had put lots of thought and energy into trying to loving others. (Didn’t Jesus say in John 13:35 that that’s how all men would know we are His disciples?) But for some reason I had missed that this was the 2nd commandment, not the first.
The greatest commandment is this:
Love the Lord thy God
So simple, so important, so transforming.
How had I missed it?
I was humbled and ashamed that I had spent so many years of my Christian life missing the whole point of it all. This is the one thing God most desires, and I hadn’t really given it a second thought. But I’m so glad that God loves us despite of ourselves and that He keeps working on us. I’m so grateful that He is patient with us as He reveals His truths to us one by one.
I determined that I would start focusing my energy on loving God. But my first question was – how do I do this? How do I just start loving God?
What I found was that loving God is not difficult because He is absolutely incredible. But if we want to truly love God, we do need to spend some time and energy on the relationship, just as we would any human relationship with those we love.
I FIND MY LOVE FOR GOD GROWING AS I DO THE FOLLOWING:
- Think about Him. The more I think about Him, the more I fall in love with Him. I think about how amazing He is as a Creator, how selfless He is as a Savior. I think about how good He is to me, despite all I do against Him. I think about specific blessings He has given me and all He has saved me from. I contemplate how incredible it is that the God of the universe cares about me. When we think about how amazing He is, the awe He inspires fills our hearts with love and gratitude.
- Tell Him I love Him. When I tell God I love him, I find the words are very true. When I tell him why I love Him, this is even more powerful.
- Spend time in His presence. No relationship can grow without time spent together. The same is true with our relationship with God. When I determined to set aside specific time for prayer, my love for Him started increasing. I also find that music helps to focus my attention on Him and helps me worship and love Him more.
- Choose to do everything out of love for Him. From our church ministry to our mundane chores, our motives make all the difference. When we choose to do a task out of love for God, our love for Him grows. It’s just a mental task of consciously giving the activity to God as an offering. Maybe this is part of what He means by when He says, “Love God with all your mind.”
We can all work at loving God more. I know I’m still just starting out on my journey. But we also can’t stop at simply applying these lessons for ourselves. We must take time to teach our students and children how to love God. It’s the most important aspect of the Christian life, but they may be like me and have not really thought about how to truly love Him.
Teach your students and children how to love God by modeling these aspects for them and helping them apply them to their own lives. Help them appreciate His goodness and majesty. Prompt them to tell Jesus that they love Him. Spent time in His presence together, and remind them that everything we do should be done out of love for Him.
PS: “ But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33