If some people were asked the question, "Do you love the Lord?" most in our society would answer in the affirmative. "Yes!" Most people would claim to love the Lord and could recite reasons perhaps for their expressed love. Loving the Lord is good and right. It is not an option, it is a command. Jesus recalled the command, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all they soul, and with all thy might" (Matt. 22:37). However, when one claims to love the Lord, what is meant? What is involved? What is expected?

What Is Meant?: -- To many, love means to have an affection for, to admire, etc. But the command to love the Lord "with all thy heart", does not mean just an affection or a tendency of good- will toward another. Jesus is meanng by this that a man is to love God with the total man, (the heart, soul and mind). A love that is the very best one has with the highest faculties of man's ability. The affections and desires of man who loves with all his will fixed on God and His Will. This kind of love will cause one to have a greater loyalty to God over anything else. God is pleased when His wholehearted love toward man is returned in full.

What Is Involved?: -- As already noted, more is involved in loving this way than just a mere warmth of gratitude. In 1 Jno. 3, as John is writing about the need to love the brethren, the point is made that if you say you love your brother, but do not give him the things he needs, it is not love. John then says, "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth" (1 Jno. 3:18). John points out that our love for our brethren ought to be shown and be evident. The same is just as true with our love for God. Many will say that they love God, but what do their lives show? Are they really doing the things God wants them to do in order to please Him? Remember God will only reward those that diligently seek to please Him (Heb. 11:6).

What Is Expected?: -- In the sermon on the mount, Jesus mentions a group of people that in their lives surely would have said they loved the Lord. "Not every one that saith unto Me Lord,... Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out demons? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you depart from Me, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity" (Matt. 7:21-23). Notice this group had worked and done many things in the name of the Lord. Surely, this group of people claimed that they loved the Lord. But Jesus made it clear that regardless of how much they may have done or how much they may have claimed to love the Lord, is was not pleasing to God because they had not done what the Lord desired, required, nor did they do it in the way He desired. In Jno. 14, Jesus told His disciples, "If you love me, keep My commandments" (Jno. 14:15) Here is the expectation of the love the Lord desires; it is being faithful to Him and doing what He has told us to do in His Word.

Let us learn that we must truly love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, and mind. May we learn that this involves more than a good feeling and outwardly saying: "I Love The Lord." Let us confess our love for Him daily in the lives we live and in the the things we do; faithfully and diligently doing the Will of God in all things.

By David A. Cox, via The Jackson Drive Reporter, December 6, 2009.

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