Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30
When I am driving, I enjoy listening to praise music! I can even sing along and no one can hear me, which is a good thing! What power the words and music have to fill our hearts with such gratitude and love for God.
Recently, I played the song, “Love the Lord Your God” over and over again, and I thought of how much we focus on the blessings of God’s love for us, but do we consider enough our love for Him?
If we were asked simply, “Do you love God?” I am sure we would all respond, “Of course, we do!” But does God feel our love for Him? Are we in awe and wonder often enough of His amazing love and grace? Who deserves more than our Creator and Sustainer of life to know how very much He is appreciated and loved! How can we ever show Him enough?
We could give all the correct answers such as: “I worship Him, I praise Him, I serve Him, I give to others, I try to obey him, and I tell Him in my prayers, but if God looked into our hearts and minds, would He see our full devotion and deep love for Him? Would He see our contentment in spending time with Him, and would He see our tears of joy and gratitude for His love and grace to us? Would He hear us tell others about Him, or know that we sincerely praise Him and sing joyfully about His love and goodness to us?
Our attempts seem so small in comparison to His amazing love for us. How can we even begin to fathom how much He loves us! We find in Scripture that He loved us before we were born, He knows everything about us – even the number of hairs on our heads – He wants the best for us, He knows the number of our days on this earth, our names are written in His Book of Life, and they are even engraved on the palms of His hands. He knows our needs, the desires of our hearts, our fears, and insecurities. He has promised to always be with us, and He sent His Son to die for us.
What greater love could there be? And yet, we know there is nothing we could ever do to deserve or earn it. It is who our loving God is. He loves us with an unconditional, everlasting love, and all He asks in return is that we love Him.
The relationship into which He brings each of us to Him is one in which He desires that the more we get to know Him, the more we will love Him. He expects and commands us to love Him with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength. We are to love Him with our entire being, with everything we are, and with everything we have! Our love for Him should permeate every part of our lives, we should see Him in everything we do, and we should praise Him continuously for His goodness to us.
May we make a commitment in our hearts to love Him more – to let Him know how grateful we are for giving us life, for the people we love, for His comfort and strength during painful experiences, for His peace, hope, and assurance of His love, and for the promise of an eternity with Him. May our hearts be moved to love Him more.
I can think of no better way to feel and express our love to Him than reading the words, or singing along to our favorite version, of this wonderful, old hymn: “How Great Thou Art“:
O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”
Dear God, we are so grateful that you call us yours. We do love you, and want to honor you with our lives. May we each love you with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength, for we give you all honor, praise, and glory for the gift of life and for the gift of your saving grace. Amen