Do you love God? I doubt there is a single Christian in the world who would answer this question with a no. But if we’re really being honest, can we truly answer it with a yes either?
And what about our students and children? Do they love Him with all their hearts, souls, and minds?
About a year ago a sobering and humbling realization came to me: I didn’t really love God.
Yes, I would say I loved Him, I served Him, I spent lots of time thinking about Him, and I even loved His Word. But for some reason I just hadn’t been putting any real effort into simply loving God.
I had put lots of thought and energy into trying to loving others. (Didn’t Jesus say in John 13:35 that that’s how all men would know we are His disciples?) But for some reason I had missed that this was the 2nd commandment, not the first.
The greatest commandment is this:
Love the Lord thy God
So simple, so important, so transforming.
How had I missed it?
I was humbled and ashamed that I had spent so many years of my Christian life missing the whole point of it all. This is the one thing God most desires, and I hadn’t really given it a second thought. But I’m so glad that God loves us despite of ourselves and that He keeps working on us. I’m so grateful that He is patient with us as He reveals His truths to us one by one.
I determined that I would start focusing my energy on loving God. But my first question was – how do I do this? How do I just start loving God?
What I found was that loving God is not difficult because He is absolutely incredible. But if we want to truly love God, we do need to spend some time and energy on the relationship, just as we would any human relationship with those we love.
I find my love for God growing as I do the following:
- Think about Him. The more I think about Him, the more I fall in love with Him. I think about how amazing He is as a Creator, how selfless He is as a Savior. I think about how good He is to me, despite all I do against Him. I think about specific blessings He has given me and all He has saved me from. I contemplate how incredible it is that the God of the universe cares about me. When we think about how amazing He is, the awe He inspires fills our hearts with love and gratitude.
- Tell Him I love Him. When I tell God I love him, I find the words are very true. When I tell him why I love Him, this is even more powerful.
- Spend time in His presence. No relationship can grow without time spent together. The same is true with our relationship with God. When I determined to set aside specific time for prayer, my love for Him started increasing. I also find that music helps to focus my attention on Him and helps me worship and love Him more. (I wrote about this in another post.)
- Choose to do everything out of love for Him. From our church ministry to our mundane chores, our motives make all the difference. When we choose to do a task out of love for God, our love for Him grows. It’s just a mental task of consciously giving the activity to God as an offering. Maybe this is part of what He means by when He says, “Love God with all your mind.”
We can all work at loving God more. I know I’m still just starting out on my journey. But we also can’t stop at simply applying these lessons for ourselves. We must take time to teach our students and children how to love God. It’s the most important aspect of the Christian life, but they may be like me and have not really thought about how to truly love Him.
Teach your students and children how to love God by modeling these aspects for them and helping them apply them to their own lives. Help them appreciate His goodness and majesty. Prompt them to tell Jesus that they love Him. Spent time in His presence together, and remind them that everything we do should be done out of love for Him.
These are only a few ways that helped me fall in love with my Savior. What helps you love Him more? You can leave a comment here.
Image credit flickr user Carlos Porto
My relationship with God is so private. Truer words, I can not say. I make so many mistakes. But he is my true north. When I’m paralyzed with fear, he is the one I call upon, he is the only one who comes to save me. So undeserving but he is always there. I’m not religious, I have to many issues with religion to be religious, yet I worship God. I pray to him for my family, for me, for all whom I care for. Especially for my daughter. I thank him for all the blessings he has given me and all the ones I never pray for or realize he gives me. I’m often lost, often ignore the voice of reason and I always take the long road around. But at my desperate hours, he is the one I turn to for help. Especially when I don’t even know if what I’m asking for is even good for me. Hense the long roads I travel. I have often been angry with God. Thinking that he should rescue me when I thought what I wanted, was what I needed. I fight him every day. I use the strength he has given me to fight for things that are damaging to me. I know all this as truth from my experiences only. Egocentric and opinionated for sure. I give so much of myself to others but not necessarily to God or the people who deserve it. A hot mess of contradiction. Such is the life of this Gemini.
Yes Suely, absolutely agree, that should be kept private and respected. To be in love with god whilst we are here on earth is a blessing. Especially when forging new paths and creating new ways that protects and serves others from harm in the process. He’s always there, period. Amen x
Inspiring. I am learning.
My eyes are welling up with tears as I read about you learning to love Jesus. Have you been reading my mind, stalking me? This exactly what I am going through. I’ve preached for 40 years and I’ve never loved Jesus more. I love him so much I desire to be with him. I worship all day long. And i tell him all day how much i love him. My passion for him keeps growing and is changing me. God is love and I’m bathing in it. Thank you for your words of confirmation. Thank you jesus.
that’s all very fine – but how very damaging to true and oh so real human love. The love which actually delivers one on one. Who would ever want the religious ” agape” love when you have the total adoration of a true lover – let alone the precious love of one’s close family. Falling in love with god is for sad people who cannot find real love in this life
I completely disagree. First of all, when we understand God’s love, we are able to love others more fully and genuinely. Also, it’s not an either-or. We can and should love both God and others. And finally, if you’re thinking that loving God is inferior to loving others, you’ve never experienced how incredible God is!
I agree Linda. Experiencing true love with God first and having a real relationship with Him allows us to love others like ourselves, and this kind of love is very deep and selfless. A selfless love last forever and can withstand any storm. Lessons from Jesus our Savior.
Great points. They all help a person to slow down and think about God, meditate on God. By telling him you love him helps you to be focused on God and how wonderful he is to you. Stay the course and continue to love God. Thank you for blessing us with this.
I want to fall in love with God. I was in love with Him for many years and I miss the closeness I had with Him. I know I need to read my bible and focus on God’s word and His greatness. Yet I find it impossible to make myself read the bible. I am tired of all the hardships of this life and I no matter how hard I try to make myself love the Lord and His word I cant. What do I do?
I too have begun to struggle with the question of if I love God. I know He is absolutely real and I fully believe the Bible. But I wonder if I really love Him or am just doing my duty in service Him and love others because He says to.
My plan is to get to know Him deeper. I remember when I gave birth to my first child and he was put in my arms after a very long and painful birth. I just handed him to my husband and wanted to sleep. I nursed him and changed him over then next few days but that overwhelming love that a mother is “supposed” to have for her baby was not there. I was a bit worried. But then after even just a week or so, after I had spent so much time with him and got to know his cries, and he content face after nursing and a couple of sweet smiles, I began to fall in love with him! I experienced this with all of my 6 children. I loved them of course but I had to “fall in love” after I spent time and got to know them.
I have decided that I will try to get to know God better. My plan is to spend time in His word and just with Him. I will ask Him to show me what I need. It makes sense to me that to love someone with all your heart, mind and soul…you need to know that One.
God bless SH, I will keep you in my prayers.
RuralNurse…what a loving and poignant reply to
SH! May God bless you mightily and give you your desire to know Him better…Blessings
This makes so much sense.
when people treat me unkind, or unfriendly or chooses not to spend time with me, I feel that is how I treat God some times. Yet God loves me any way. So I practice Gods style of love toward them and even towards my enemies . With this line of thinking I realize the love that God has for me , and this moves my heart to hate the wrong I have done toward Him. A deeper loves grows stronger, and makes me wont to spend more time in His Book and in a daily conversation with Him.
I agree Gary
I am so Thankful for all God has shown me and did for me and my Family, when I gave up on Live, God turn everything around, I had no Joy, no Peace, I cannot even begin to EXPLAIN. There is A God, I been through some unseen things ONLY GOD KNOW< HE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO COULD HAVE BROUGHT ME OUT, I'm Still Going Throw Keeping My Hand in God Hand, I NEVER GIVE UP ARE IN< THERE IS A GOD
Loving God! WOW! I spend time with Him, I have to talk to myself and to God in my head. I talk back and forth me and God and set myself up to study and spend quality one on one time. I have a 1 year old, 3 year old and a 29 year old living with me, working 40 hours a week, and spending time with them and God sometimes can be difficult. I like to study in quiet time and my house is busy, busy. I have learned to take time out and no sometimes/most times I miss the boat, but He loves me and I love Him so I try and make time and apologize when I don’t. We have to just keep at it.
I thought I loved the Lord Jesus – but sometimes my actions do not look like I love God. I find myself thinking and doing things that are not pleasing to him and I wonder do I really love God – why can’t I do what is right in his sight. I remember Paul saying the things I want to do, is what I do not do. so the struggle is real but I want to strive to love God and show him I love him. When I quiet myself I start to think about God more as I am moving about I sometimes forget. I really appreciate you saying to tell God you love him – I believe your heart hears what you are saying and even in every day situations once I say I love you it really starts to change my focus and my attitude and actions are different.
I dont know how to love God. Without the love for him nothing else works. Obedience …works ….everything is a struggle. I dont know anymore. Been here a long time. No one understands. How could something that’s more important than anything be so hard.
I’d love to recommend to you The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith. It is an excellent book that I believe will help you with this and can be found online for free or just a few bucks.
If you’re a teacher, we have recently compiled a version that is adapted into a devotion for teachers. You can find details here: https://teach4theheart.com/teach-uplifted-devotions-teachers/
I myself had struggled to love God and it just not working. Whenever I say Jesus I love you a voice pops up in my head and be like do you really love him. But when Jesus took me I don’t journey to love I began to love him not because I did anything special but because he made me love. Almost every time I ask myself what I did back then that made me love Him but no answer I gave ever seemed to fit. Then I realized that I love him because he made me love Him.
Just like you make your crush fall in love with you ☺️☺️
I want to become God’s girlfriend and He my everything. I love God but most times, i live a life that states the opposite. It leaves me wondering whatelse to do.
The bible in john14:15 says “if you love me, keep my commandments” but i find it hard to keep His commandments.
I keep telling myself that i can’t live according to His will if am not filled with the Holy Spirit… I don’t know whatelse to do inorder to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
I don’t have all the answers, but I do know this: Only Jesus can change our hearts. Ask Him to change you. Choose to obey what He has shown you in your life. And wait on Him as He changes your life.
I have looked for something like that for a long time. I really wanna put God first, wanna have a real relationship with Him.
Thank you. God bless you.
God has an unfailing love for all his children but its unfortunate we keep failing him because we have become slaves to sin. May the Holy Spirit strengthen us to give him all the love he wants from us. Amen.
That’s very true
I loved it. It was very insightful. Awesome!
I think to love God, we need to feel and truly believe in our hearts that he loves us. As the scripture says, “We love because God first loved us.” The starting point of any relationship with God begins with God himself.
God enables us to love him and others. As the scripture says, “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling for it God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” The power, desire and the motivation to love God and others come from God himself.
What helps me to learn to love God is to keep during out the day. Acknowledging Him during out the day. Allowing Him to be my peace and joy during the day.
Crying out to Him for help as me knowing He’s standing right next to me. This helps realize everytime who I am in Him.
This question couldn’t be more timely. I am sitting here spending time alone “with God”. Reading scripture, praying and asking the Holy Spirit to speak to me. I felt challenged just yesterday morning as I found myself rising early, before the rest of my family, so I could have some alone time. For me this would ideally consist of praying, reading a few scriptures, and recording my thoughts in a journal. I must add that it had been months since my last journal entry and by no means am I perfect ( just forgiven). I attend church weekly and usually get a scripture in before I start my day; but I am still left wanting or feel unfulfilled. My desire IS to love Him more and I was asking, while in prayer, “God help me to love you more”. I heard (or the thought immediately came to me), ” I can’t make you love me”. I spent the entire day pondering that thought and the scripture of the sinner woman and the story of the two debtors (found in Luke 7 : 37- 43). Now, as I write this post, with tears welling in my eyes, I know that I have to make (or take) time to get alone with Him. I have to sing songs that remind me of His majesty, forgiveness, and faithfulness (even if I make them up myself). I have to spend time praying and reading His word; but most importantly, allowing Him time to speak to me ( being quiet and listening). You have got to spend time with Him (reading, praying, worshipping, listening quietly) to get to know Him. The more time we spend, the easier it is love Him.
I learnt that I love God because of Jesus who has redeemed me from my sinful life. I am so thankful for God’s love towards me that he sent his only son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. When I think about God’s love for us it makes me love him more and more and I just can’t get enough of it.
Amen may he continue to strengthen you
The ability to love God came later in my life, but when it did it changed my life forever. Simple things like saying ‘I love you God’ brings immense joy and peace and, amazingly, that relationship grows stronger even if I falter occasionally in my faith. During these trials this deep love always powers me through and ensures my continued devotion. In short, this love was something completely unexpected, and I know I did nothing to earn it – it is a fantastic gift – truly the pearl of great price.
Thanks for sharing this great post Linda!
A close relationship with God is possible for everyone.
Regardless of your past circumstances and mistakes, there is always a chance for you to develop a relationship with the Creator.
Please read my blog: 4 Ways to Develop a Close Relationship with God
Hope this will also help. Thank you and God Bless you..
Hello. I can’t find your page? Please check the link ❤️
So bless with this, although its short but powerful and explicitly simple message.
You have discovered the greatest joy in your life when you fall in love with Jesus! That’s the only place you want to be for the rest of your life. I find that I make My Lord, Jesus Christ, my first and greatest love, I am so joyful and happy. Day by day and throughout the day, just tell Him how much you love Him…❤️❤️❤️ (By the way, I am a man.) God bless you.
Telling my father good morning and welcome to come sit and hang out with me . .. I take a ride to this special pound and sit for hours just waiting to hear back from the lord .. I cry so much hoping he will send a bird or anything to let me know he heard me.
I felt the presence of God while praying for help as an alcoholic. It was God smiling down on me. I se sensed it and knew He was telling me with joy and happiness that He heard me and I will be so happy. That was 3 years ago and I have been solidly sober. That is my Love I give God and chuckle sometimes in prayer because he knows I GOT his message loud and clear. Listen to God. God sends messages in lightness… sun, blue skies and a brightness is how my msg came from Him.
Thank you so much for this post!
Singing to Him indeed helps me live Him all the more!
I’m not a Christian, I don’t when know God but I know He is so good to me. I can easy say I don’t love God because I don’t know Him, I ask how can I love God when I don’t even know Him. I am a sinner and evil I am disabled I had a hole in my heart when I was born they never fixed until I was 6 but when they went in to fix the hole they made a huge mistake. They twisted the valves the wrong way and a blood clot went to brain and caused a stroke and I was paralyzed on the right side, within a week they took me back in to try fixing their mistake but it was to late, the damage was already done. I know God saved my life then and He has been doing it ever since but I’m far from Him I made so many bad choices since then. I was sexually abused since I was between 3 or 5 until 19from my grandfather and cousins and then at 21 I had a male friend and he sexually abused me until I broke up Him at 24 I went to college in Johnstown Pa I ended up pregnant the guy that was so controlling and jealousy. I was abused from him, it started 1993 until 2009 he mentally verbally emotionally and sexually abused me in that time frame. He told me to get the f out, it wasn’t the first he me but it was the last because I got out but not with my son he wanted to stay to finish school where all his friends were. He was 14 going on 15. So now I am alone and don’t know God.
Donna don’t worry God still is with you! , If you seek Jesus he will not cast you out ! Faith can take Time but Jesus can still help you always remember seeking him will give you faith and then your joy will be fulfilled it takes time but God can establish you always remember to wait on the Lord 💯❤️
I’m learning the voice of God to us is His Word revealed by the Holy Spirit. (THE ANOINTING SPIRIT OF LIFE) empowerment to help us obey God at all times when we yield ourselves to obedience.
And I’m so grateful unto God my Savior in Christ Jesus for mercy on our souls to hear our cry of repentance (wrong doings) and the covering blood and the washing WORD OF GOD allowing us to come into the presence of the Lord our God.
Thank you Lord Jesus for sending the Holy Spirit to draw us back unto you.
THE WORD OF GOD
THE LORD IS OUR GOD
HEAR AND OBEY HIS VOICE
THIS IS MY BELOVED SON IN WHOM I’M WELL PLEASE.
JESUS SAID , “FOLLOW ME”