Pastoral Perspectives

Love God!

At a gathering, what would you normally talk about? I wonder what people would talk about when they meet. I think some may talk about the latest happening in town. Some may even talk about the latest gadget they hope to have. Some may talk about new discoveries in the world. Some may venture into conversations on families, friends and works. Would you talk about God and your relationship with Him? We seldom talk about God in a gathering, don’t we?

If you love someone, you will talk about that someone whom you love. Similarly, if you love God, you will tell others about Him. If you love God, within a Discipleship Group (DG), will you encourage others to know God more? Will you share what God is doing in your life? I think, within a DG, we seldom share about what God is doing in our lives. I hope I may be wrong in this instance. Perhaps, your DG did share about God and His marvellous work in your lives.

Before you begin to love God, you need to know Him and know how to relate with Him. You may ask: “Is it possible to know God and relate with Him? Is it difficult to know Him and relate with God?” What does the Bible say about knowing God and relating with Him? Let us look at the Great Commandments. The Great Commandments are found in Matthew 22:37-40 which states: 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. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” In Luke 10:27, it includes “with all your strength”. To love God involves our heart, our soul, our strength and our mind. To love God involves the whole person. It is more than an emotional feeling for someone. It is not a lip service. It is: “to have a relationship with God.”

The question to ask ourselves is: “Do I have a relationship with God?” To relate with God in love, you need to know Him through His holy and righteous Word. To love God is to walk with God and talk with Him. It is clearly explained in John 14:15 which states: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” To love God is to keep the commandments of God, that is, the Word of God. To love God is to obey God, that is, to do what God tells you to do. God tells us in His Word to love one another. (See John 13:34-35). Have we obeyed His command to love one another? In 1 John 5:2-3, these Bible verses reiterate the truth of loving God. In verse 3, it states that: “His commandments are not burdensome.” Do you find that the commandments of God are burdensome?

When you love God, you will experience the love of God bountifully. In John 14:21, you will learn this truth: “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.” This truth is further reiterated in John 14:23 ― Jesus answered him, “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.” This deepens our relationship with God through the steadfast love of God.

To love God also involves loving the people of God, that is, those who are the children of God. You cannot confess that you love God without loving the people of God. In verse 2, it clearly states that: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.” So, you see that it is all connected. To love God is to obey the Word of God and love the children of God. How do we have this love for God? In Romans 5:5, we know that: “… hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” We already have God’s love in our hearts. It is so wonderful that God has already poured into our hearts His precious and powerful love. Through the Holy Spirit, we have this capacity to love God. Thanks be to God! Amen. Let us grow in our love for God by drawing close to Him through carving out precious time for Him and His Word. Our relationship with God needs to be cultivated. It requires much discipline on our part. It cannot happen overnight. Our love for God and His Word needs to grow stronger day by day. It cannot be stagnant and it must not be stagnant. It needs to be watered regularly to grow.

To love God is to love our neighbours too. The Word of God has taught us to love our neighbours as ourselves. We should treat others the same way which we treat ourselves. If we will not mistreat others as we will not mistreat ourselves, this will reflect our love for others, and it is a reflection of the love of God flowing through us to them. In 1 Corinthians 13:4a, we learn that: “Love is patient and kind.” Let us exercise patience and kindness when we relate with our neighbours. Let us give “space” to each other by demonstrating what is beneficial and good for them.

To sum up all that I want us to learn and put into practice is simply this: “Love God”. Through the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we shall love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength and all our mind. Amen. May all that we think, all that we say and all that we do, be done to the glory of God! Amen. 

Preacher George Ang

July 24, 2022