Many people apparently do not desire to have a genuine love for God, while many others claim to love God, but the way they conduct themselves on a daily basis seems to indicate that they do not truly love God. So, what might be beneficial for such people to understand about loving God? Before we explain how a person can demonstrate genuine love for God, we will consider the reasons to love God
Basic Reasons to Love God
Although there are a number of reasons to love God, we will focus on the two that we believe are the most important.
The Bible Instructs Us to Love God
Three scriptures in the New Testament instruct us to love God. In Matthew 22:37-38, Jesus Christ declares, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.” The wording of Mark 12:30 is very similar and, to a slightly lesser degree, so is the wording of Luke 10:27. Similarly, in the Old Testament, there are a number of scriptures that command people to “love the Lord your God.” These scriptures include Deuteronomy 6:5; 11:1, 13, 22; 13:3; 19:9; 30:6, 16, 20; and Joshua 22:5; 23:11.
[Note: When we quote Scripture in this article, we use the wording in the New King James Version of the Bible.]
We Should Have Gratitude for God’s Love for Us
Every person is potentially a beneficiary of God’s love that enables them to have eternal salvation, despite the fact that they continue to sin, even when their best intentions are to live according to God’s will. Also, many people have had experiences in which God has demonstrated His love for them by protecting them from serious injury or even death. In addition, many people have benefitted from God’s guidance when they were making crucial decisions that resulted in a more fulfilling life than they probably would have had otherwise. Furthermore, because of God’s love for us, we can have the joy and peace that comes from trusting that He will never leave us or forsake us (see Deuteronomy 4:31; 31:6; 1 Samuel 12:22; and Hebrews 13:5). These are all factors that should contribute to our appreciation of God’s love for us.
What Is Necessary to Be Able to Demonstrate Genuine Love for God
Our love for God needs to be genuine, not self-serving (i.e., selfish) love that is the antithesis of genuine love. But, what is necessary for us to be able to demonstrate ongoing genuine love for God?
It Is Necessary to Pray that God Will Instill in Us the Desire to Genuinely Love Him
We need to pray sincerely and regularly that God will help us each day to love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind, as was previously mentioned in regard to several New Testament scriptures. This may necessitate asking God for a better understanding and a greater appreciation of His love for us, which should motivate us to desire to consistently love Him.
It is Necessary to Allow the Holy Spirit to Control Our Life
In John 14:15, Jesus Christ declares, ““If you love Me, keep My commandments.” However, if we rely on only our own abilities, we are likely to fall far short in our efforts to demonstrate our love for God by consistently keeping the commandments of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to control our life so that He can guide us and empower us to do the things that please God and, conversely, to refrain from doing the things that displease God. [For additional perspective regarding being controlled by the Holy Spirit, click on “Importance of Being Filled with the Holy Spirit.”]
Summary and Conclusion
Two basic reasons to love God are the biblical instructions for us to love Him and our gratitude for all that He has done to demonstrate His love for us. For us to be able to consistently demonstrate our genuine love for God, we need to pray sincerely and regularly that He will help us to genuinely love Him and that we will allow the Holy Spirit to be in control of our life.