Do you love God? That’s an interesting question. Growing up in church the natural response is, “Of course I love God!” Still, I feel this question deserves more probing than our initial positive response. It’s ok to ask ourselves, “Do I really love God?” Or “Does the way I live my life reflect my love for God?” Let’s look at love in the context of human relationship.
Imagine a husband and wife relationship in which the wife works hard to take care of the kids and meet every single need within the house, but never spends any time with her husband? A different couple spends several weeks together, inseparable, completely devoted to each other, but once a month they go and sleep with other people. I’m not suggesting that you are so directly guilty of these things, however, I find that these two scenarios occur within the church context all too often.
Many of us are very focused on the ministry of God’s house, being sure to provide for all the needs of the church. We are faithful to fulfill our ministry roles, going above and beyond the call of duty. Sometimes we are so busy with our work and ministry that we neglect our very relationship with Jesus. Our prayer life declines and we never have time to really study God’s word. God is always first and foremost concerned with your relationship with Him than He is your service to Him.
In the same way, many Christians are faithful to God most of the time, but every now and then they take a personal day to live however they want. Sometimes it’s intentional, sometimes they just grow tired and become weak. However, if we are the bride of Christ we should be His bride all the time, not only when it is convenient. I want to look at love through the context of 1 Corinthians 13.
This is a very common portion of scripture, read by Christians and non-Christians alike at wedding ceremonies. It’s a beautiful depiction of love. Let’s be sure not only to read it in the context of relationships but in the context of our love for God, God’s love for us and God’s love for all of humanity.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT) Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Do you love God like that? It’s easy to be wowed by the simple fact that love like that can exist. It’s incredible to think God loves me that way! But How am I doing at loving others that way? Do I love God with a love that doesn’t demand its own way? Does my love for the Lord never give up or lose faith? I can’t say that is always the case.
This scripture is the standard we should strive to hit when it comes to loving people. This is real love, not just how a marriage should look, but friendship and ministry as well. We must grow in love for people if we hope to lead them to the truth of Jesus. In order to accomplish that we must grow in a love for God.
I have long believed that a mark of maturity in the life of a believer is growing in love for people. I am convinced that as we truly grow in love for the Lord, He puts within us a supernatural love for others. Love is the natural byproduct of spending time in the presence of Jesus and that love is reflected in the way we live.
True love for the Lord is evidenced in our ability to obey His commands. Again I ask the question, “Does the way I live my life reflect my love for God?” In my weakest moment do my actions still reflect my love for Christ? I’ve had some weak moments lately. Some of them have reflected Jesus and some of them have not. When we find faults within us, we should run into His presence and learn anew to love Him with an undivided heart.
The world is constantly threatening to pull our affections away from the Lord and when it begins to happen we will see disobedience and sins slipping into our lives. We shouldn’t be ashamed, but we should be quick to identify it and repent. Let us bring our lives into the light of Jesus and through His sacrifice on the cross turn from sin and truly live in love for Him!