Do You Love God?
And Jesus answering said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.”
~ Luke 10:27
I have a dear friend who has been serving the Lord all the years that I have known her. She is gentle, kind, patient, giving, caring, and has a heart for those who do not know Jesus. During one of our visits, she was pouring out her heart to me, and for some reason I asked her this question, “Do you really love God?” I was not trying to trap, or reprimand her. I was actually surprised when the question came out of my mouth. Her answer was simple. She did not try to explain herself, or make excuses. She simply replied, “No.”
Her answer was not shocking because I knew, indeed she did love the Lord. It was obvious in who she is as a person. It only showed, all too well, her humble spirit. My friend loves the Lord, but she also knows that there is no way she could ever love God, the way that He loves her. She knows that she fails at loving Him with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength. Had she asked me that question, I’m not sure I would have been as honest with my answer.
God loves us so much that we cannot fully grasp the size of His love. His love is measureless. We tend to look at everything in numbers, and point systems. If I make straight A's on my report card, maybe my parents will love me more. If I do the laundry, and run the errands, maybe my spouse will love me more. If I buy my child this toy, maybe he/she will love me more. We daily think of things we can do to make others love us. In fact, we even do it to ourselves. If I lose a few pounds, read this self-help book, and volunteer, maybe I can love myself more.
We think we can earn points by doing things, because it is instilled in us from the very beginning. God’s love is not like that. Marty, our minister says every Sunday, “There is nothing you can do to make God love you less.” There is also no point system where we can do things to make God love us more. God's boundless love, does not keep a point system. He does not love our pastor, Marty, more than a drug addicted street person, who wanders into the service.
He loves the one sitting on the back pew, as much as the one sitting on the front. He loves the one who gives enormous amounts of offerings, and the one who gives none. He loves the one in jail, as much as the little old lady who works in the nursery at church.
We need to remember that, when we see a person passed out on the park bench, hear someone speaking rudely, watch the actions of a defiant teen, or see the impatient person who cuts in line. They are the neighbors Jesus speaks about, when He says, ”Love your neighbor, as yourself.”
God hates the acts, yet He loves the sinner. We are all sinners. The only difference between the Christian and the non-Christian is the grace of God, though His Son, Jesus. So when we entertain the idea of being better than the other person, or puffed up about what we do for the church, we need to think again. The only good in us, is Him. Do we fully understand that kind of love?
Do we completely love a God, who loves us like that? If we answer humbly in truthfulness, the answer is, “No.”
Dear Lord, Thank you for your love. Help us to love you, and our neighbors more each day. Through Christ I pray, Amen
~ Jenny Calvert