Habit 4: Love God

The more you get to know God, the more you will love Him. And the more you love Him, the more you will want to obey Him.

God is the initiator in this love relationship. The apostle John reveals, “We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19, NIV). The more we realize how great God’s love is for us, the more we will respond by loving Him.

Paul wrote to the Ephesians,

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19, NIV)

Do you have any idea of how much God loves you?

Consider the following acts of God’s love for you. . .

He died for us
… God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8 NLTSE)

He forgives our sins
… In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.  (Isaiah 38:17, NIV)

He does not condemn us
… he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. (Psalm 103:9,10, NIV)

He is gracious to us
… because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4,5, NIV)

He adopted us
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1, NIV)

He gives us His attention
What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention,… (Job 7:17, NIV)

He gives us good gifts
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17, NIV)

He is faithful to us
… if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. (2 Timothy 2:13, NIV)

He will always love us
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:38,39, NIV)

As the Holy Spirit helps us to understand the breadth and depth of God’s love for us, we respond with love for God.

There are several ways in which we demonstrate our love for God…

We love Him wholeheartedly
Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ (Matthew 22:37, NLT)

We love Him most
If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. (Matthew 10:37, NLT)

We obey Him
Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me. (John 14:21-23, NLT)

We love others
But anyone who does not love does not know God–for God is love. (1 John 4:8, NLT)

We sacrifice for one another
But if anyone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need and refuses to help–how can God’s love be in that person? (1 John 3:17, NLT)

We serve Him
As we talk to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds,… (1 Thessalonians 1:3, NLT)

We thank Him
Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures for ever. (Jeremiah 33:11, NIV)

We glorify Him
Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself; how I praise you! (Psalm 63:3, NLT)

We stay in God’s love
Live in such a way that God’s love can bless you as you wait for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you. (Jude 1:21, NLT)

As you cultivate your love relationship with God, ask the Holy Spirit to make you evermore mindful of how much God loves you. And, as a result, expect the Holy Spirit to continually increase your love for God.

… God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Romans 5:5, NIV)