Can you love God without loving His Word? Obviously, you cannot. Can you love God’s Word without loving God? Obviously, you can. When you do this, there is no relationship between you and God. You are just making use of God’s Word for your own purpose and agenda. This will be tragic! We do not want this to happen. My purpose of writing this perspective is to spur us to a deeper love for God and His Word.
Before we touch on whom we should love, we should look at what is love. Love is the willingness to enter into a relationship with someone. It is voluntary and not being forced to. It is more than a feeling. It involves your whole being. It flows from every facet of your life. It can be seen and be testified to. It is an act of the heart, will and mind. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, we should love God and His Word. How are we to love Him and His Word? In Matthew 22:37, the Word of God says, “And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ “We are to love the Lord our God completely and totally, without any reservations. To love God is to listen to God. To listen to God involves paying attention to His Word. It is to live a life which is blameless and pleasing in His sight. It is to lean on God rather than on self or on others. It is giving to God your loyalty, your undivided devotion and your allegiance. It is submitting yourself in obedience to His Word. God is the Lord of your life. God’s Word becomes the guiding principles for your life. To love God is to love God’s Word. You would not dare to live a single day without God’s Word. God’s Word becomes a lamp to your feet and a light to your path. You delight in keeping God’s Word in your heart by memorising and meditating upon it. To love God’s Word is to let God’s Word rules, that is, governs, your life. You would want to devote more time to learning God’s words and living them out of your life.
What is my understanding of “Love God and His Word”? According to what I have learnt from the Bible, it is to obey God and His Word. Obedience to God and His Word is what He wants to see happening in my life and yours. Really, we can’t talk about loving God without talking about obeying God’s Word. They are like two sides of a coin. In John 14: 21-24, these verses teach me that to love God is to carry out what God has instructed me 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, understanding it by making good observations and having right interpretations, and applying it readily in our daily life. Only when we appropriate the truths of God’s Word into our life, are we truly 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 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 and His Word, 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 God’s Word in Matthew 4: 4, you are applying “Love God and His Word” in your life. Our Christian life depends upon every word that comes from the mouth of God. God’s Word 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 further but make it a priority to place God’s Word at the centre of our life. If you truly want to love God and His Word, you would surely embark on this immediately and without hesitation or delay. If you are in doubt as to how to get it started, you may approach any of the pastors, elders and deacons. I am sure they will not hesitate to help you.
Let us make it our New Year resolution to sit at the feet of Jesus, like Mary, listening to the teachings of Jesus, gladly spending time with her Master (Luke 10: 38–42 ESV). “Love God and His Word” will take on a new dimension in your life when you intentionally place God’s Word at the centre of your 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 will always be our key motivation in doing what we would like to do and achieve.
Preacher George Ang
January 11, 2015