On the Sunday worship bulletin, you would have noticed this phrase, “Love God”. You must have wondered in your heart as to how you could appropriate this in your Christian life. At the Newcomers’ Get Together High-Tea Fellowship last Saturday, 19 Jan, Ps Edwin shared this to the Newcomers. In essence, it is based on the Great Commandment which Jesus replied to the Pharisees in Matthew 22: 37 – 39. In this perspective, I would like to share my thoughts on this phrase “Love God”.
What is your understanding on this phrase, “Love God”? What is my understanding on this? To me, and according to what the Bible teaches me, to love God is to obey God. Obedience to God and His Word is what He wants to see happening in my life and in yours. Really, we can’t talk about loving God without talking about obeying God. They are like two sides of a coin. In John 14: 21-24, these verses teach us that to love God is to carry out what God has instructed us in His Word. In John 14: 21 ESV, it is written that “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
How do you and I have God’s commandments? We have them through reading the Bible, which is God’s Word, understanding it by making good observations and having right interpretations. Having done these, we apply it readily into our life situations. Only when we appropriate the truths of God’s Word into our life, are we actually keeping God’s Word in our life. To keep God’s Word is to obey God’s Word. To obey God’s Word reflects our love for God. This is what Jesus says in John 14: 23 ESV, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” When we love Jesus, we will experience the love of the Father, i.e. the love of God. Not only that, we will also experience the love of Jesus. We will encounter the reality of Jesus revealing Himself to us.
When Jesus was on earth, He obeyed His Father. He carried out all that His Father had instructed Him to do. This demonstrates His love for His Father. His obedience is a vivid example for us to follow. In Hebrews 5: 8-10, Jesus was obedient to His Father. Jesus learnt obedience through what He suffered. Likewise, when we go through trials of various kinds, we should not grumble against God and should not become bitter about it but instead, we should rejoice in and over them through our act of obedience to be faithful to God and His Word.
When Jesus was on earth, He did not lack in spending time with His Father. In Matthew 4: 4 ESV, it is written that “. . . Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” As much as Jesus needed to spend time with His Father, we, as God’s beloved children, ought to spend time with Jesus too. To begin your journey of loving God, we need to spend time with Him. We get ourselves entangled by the busy schedule of our day that we have neglected to spend time with God. By keeping the Word of God in Matthew 4: 4, you are applying “Love God” in your life. Our Christian life depends upon every word that comes from the mouth of God. The Word of God is our spiritual food. We cannot live spiritually well without having a proper intake of God’s Word in our daily Christian life. Let us not procrastinate any more but make it our priority to place God’s Word at the central of our life and our family life. If you truly want to love God, you have to start now. If you have difficulty or doubt as to how to get started, you can approach any of the pastors, Elders and Deacons. I believe that they will be more than happy to help you in your Christian life.
When we feed on God’s Word regularly, we will grow in our faith and grow towards spiritual maturity. Soon, we will bear the fruit of the Spirit in each of our lives. Let me point you to another verse. In 2 Peter 3: 18, it is written that “. . . grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ . . .” Have you encountered the grace of God in your life? Have you known our Lord Jesus better day by day? Our love towards God and for God should motivate and spur us on in knowing Jesus more and in encountering His grace in a greater capacity.
Let us make it our New Year resolution to sit at the feet of Jesus, like Mary, listening to the teachings of Jesus, joyfully spending time with our Master (Luke 10: 38–42 ESV). “Love God” takes on a new meaning when we intentionally place God’s Word at the centrality of our life and our family life. It is my prayer that we will be more consistent in spending time with God this whole year. It is also my prayer that our love towards God and for God will always be our key motivation in doing what we would like to do and achieve.
Preacher George Ang
January 27, 2013