Christians’ Practice of Loving God
Many Christians are of the opinion that as long as we sacrifice our whole lives to work and expend for the Lord, we’re the ones who love God and satisfy God, and should be praised by Him. Is this view after God’s heart? These days, through seeking and fellowshiping with some brothers and sisters, I have a new knowledge of how to love and satisfy God. Here I’d like to share it with you.
First, we should give our heart to God entirely and let God take charge within us so as to be one mind with Him.
Thesaid, “This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:8-9). “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38). It can be seen from the Lord’s words that loving God doesn’t consist in how many sweet words or how profound doctrines we can speak out, but rather means giving God our whole heart, turning our hearts to Him when speaking or doing things, and satisfying Him in everything. If we’ve spent a lot and paid much price yet our motivations are not for loving God but for entering into the kingdom of heaven, then no matter how much price we pay or how much work we do, we’ll never be praised by God, for all our efforts are for satisfying personal intentions and desires and making deals with God, not from our heart. For instance, while we can pay whatever the cost to follow the Lord’s teachings, listening to sermons, attending gatherings, spreading the and helping brothers and sisters out, oftentimes we do these for gaining family peace, finding ideal jobs for our children, or entering the kingdom of heaven, which has nothing to do with loving God. Such toil, sacrifice and expenditure are full of transactions and demands, and such “love” is nothing but deceit and won’t be praised by the Lord. The Lord Jesus said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). From these words we can see that if we wish to attain a love for God, we should have a simple and honest heart, make God’s heart our own, and deliver our service, life, marriage, and family into God’s hands, letting Him take charge of them. And we should take the words “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” as our principles of practice, be considerate of and share His restlessness and wants, accomplish His entrustment, and gradually become of the same mind as God.
Second, we should take God’s commissions as our responsibility and obeying God’s orchestrations and arrangements as our heaven-sent vocation without personal intentions.
As created beings, we ought to accept the Creator’s arrangements over our fate. Be we blessed or cursed, our love for God should never change. We should unconditionally and unarguably obey God’s dominion and arrangements, perform the work of serving God well, and devote ourselves wholeheartedly to expending for God, never calculating our gain and loss of the flesh. Take Peter as an example. He sought to love God and satisfy God in his lifetime. Entrusted by the Lord, he never considered his own future or destiny but did his utmost to shepherd the churches well, and lived up to the Lord’s expectations. Whatever trials, refinements, persecution or tribulations he underwent, Peter could be obedient to God’s orchestrations and arrangements. Finally, he was crucified upside down for the Lord, obeying to death and loving God to the utmost.
Then how about us today? Although we work and expend for God outwardly, in most cases, we don’t do it willingly to satisfy God. For example, when the church arranges some work for us, we always have personal choices and requirements, choosing something easy to do; when spreading the gospel, we don’t want to endure hardship or harm our fleshly interests; when helping and sustaining brothers and sisters, we do it not out of sincerity but because of the leader’s arrangements. Such service is just going through the process perfunctorily and doesn’t embody the love to God at all. For us Christians, serving God is right and proper; we shouldn’t have any individual choices or requirements, or account for our personal interests. Rather, we should submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements and dedicate all our hearts to completing what the Creator entrusts to us. This is a true love for God.
Third, we should love what God loves and hate what God hates, and do our utmost to defend God’s work.
The Lord Jesus said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our stayed with him. He that loves me not keeps not my sayings” (John 14:23-24). From these words we can see that only when we follow the Lord’s teachings will God put His true love within us so that we can love each other. To love God, we should satisfy His intentions in everything. For example, the Lord asked us to be the light and salt, and then we shall obey His teachings. When brothers and sisters are weak or faced with difficulties, we should try our best to help and sustain them. If in the church there are some people who attend gatherings for doing business instead of listening to sermons and gaining life, or some who brush aside the truth disseminating their negativity and fallacies, making brothers and sisters sink downward in their spirits, we shouldn’t follow them blindly but discern them to protect our church life. This is a manifestation of loving God and considering His will. A true believer of God shall treat people according to the truth: For those truth-lovers who can carry out God’s will, we should make them dear to us, while for those truth-loathers who rebel and resist God, we should keep away from them and reject them. Hence, if we want to attain the true love of God, we must think of God at all times, care for the interests of the churches and the life entry of our brothers and sisters, worrying about God’s worries and thinking about what God is thinking about, obeying and practicing whatever God demands and rejecting whatever God hates. Only in this way can we have true love for God and be accepted by Him.
Fourth, we should regard gainingas the most precious thing, regard serving God and loving God as the most glorious thing, and be willing to dedicate our whole life to carrying out God’s will.
As we all know, in the Old Testament age, the Israelites had no place to worship God in the beginning. David cared for God’s will and spent his whole life building the temple so that more people could come before God and worship Him. In his heart, God was his one-and-only and he regarded loving God and serving God as the most glorious thing. He willingly dedicated his whole life to carrying out God’s will, expending to gain God and love God. As a result, David was approved by God. From David’s story, we can see that if we want to attain a love for God and satisfy God, we should carry out God’s will as our mission, and be willing to expend our whole life. Only such devotion can be approved by God. Throughout the ages, countless saints have devoted their lives to the gospel work of the Lord, which is worth our emulation today. It’s our mission to spread the gospel of the descent of the kingdom of heaven all over the world, so we should devote our whole life to it. This is a display of loving God and will be approved by Him.
These four points above are the ways for us to practice loving God and satisfying God. May we seek the truth with an honest heart, practice the truth with piety, and be a Christian who truly loves God and satisfies God.
All the glory be to God!