September 4, 2015

Four Ways to Love God

Written by Boyd Bailey

Four Ways to Love God 9.4

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 4, 2015

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

Love is the most powerful weapon in our arsenal of faith. Like the tip of an arrow love points us to God. Love commandeers all other graces to engage the Lord’s affection and His eternal concerns. When Jesus defined love as the greatest command, He gave us a glimpse into what He wants for the world and His children. A life motivated by love is only limited by its capacity to love the Lord. Love is a muscle we exercise so it grows in stamina and strength. Here are four ideas to develop our love for God:

Love God with Your Emotions
Jesus starts at the heart of the matter—our heart. What captures our passions and yearnings? Our heart is the seat of our feelings and affections. We are drawn to what we desire—what we value. Yes, the heart follows what it treasures above all else. In the same way an engaged couple each aggressively seeks to engage the heart of their lover, so as the bride of Christ we passionately pursue His heart. As our heart loves Jesus—He simultaneously settles and stirs our emotions.

“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8).

Love God with Your Soul
In the beginning God breathed life into the soul of man (Genesis 2:7). So our soul is our entire being brought into being by the Spirit of the Lord. It is here, deep within the recesses of our spirit, that we communion with Christ. Our marriage to Jesus was consummated when, by grace through faith, He saved our soul. Prayer is our bedchamber of intimacy for us to love our Lord with all our soul. Christ is our companion and confidant. A soul in love with God seeks God by faith.

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God” (Psalm 42:1).

Love God with Your Mind
A mind in love with the Lord wants to do the Lord’s will. In the same way a noble idea captures our imagination so much that it drastically influences our actions, so to know and do God’s will is the goal of those in love with Jesus. Mental romancing with the mind of Christ marks the thoughts of those who trust and obey. Knowledge of God acquired out of love starves our pride and feeds our humility. Big, worshipful God thoughts expand our love for our sovereign Lord.

“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Love God with Your Strength
Energy in eternal matters is what matters most. When our focused attention is on the important (like giving) and not the trivial (like worry) we thrive in our love for the Lord. What activity may be competing with your time with Christ? Avoid activities that create sideways energy. Our strength increases as we engage with other followers of Jesus on fire for Him. Like a bonfire ignited by gasoline, so the prayers and encouragement of God’s people flame our fire of faith and love for God. Being around people in love with Jesus grows our love for Jesus. Yes, love strong!

“I love you, Lord, my strength” (Psalm 18:1).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, with my heart, soul, mind and strength— grow deep my love for You.

Application: What limits my love for the Lord? How can I grow my capacity to love God?

Related Readings: Deuteronomy 6:5; Psalm 73:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:2-5; 1 John 2:15-17, 4:7-8

Post/Tweet this today: Love commandeers all other graces to engage the Lord’s affection and His eternal concerns. #loveGod #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: 3 minute music video- Hillsong: There is None Like You

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© 2015 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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  1. Denise Tolton says:

    For years after becoming a disciple I was constantly burdened with knowing I was commanded to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. And I also knew that try as I might, I wasn’t able to love Him like that. One day God opened the eyes of my heart and said, “Until you really believe me and receive my love for you, you cannot be supplied to love me or to love others.” So the Lord began to teach me how to receive His agape kind of love. Only then did I begin to agape love Him in return.

  2. Gwynne says:

    Dear Denise,
    Wow! Thank you for sharing your story of finding out what God’s Love was really all about. What a powerful reminder to all of us when God told you “Until you really believe me and receive my love for you, you cannot be supplied to love me or to love others.”
    Denise, I would love to hear more of your story, especially the way “the Lord began to teach me how to receive His agape kind of love”. If you have a free moment, please share more. My email address is:
    Thank you again, Denise. I can only imagine your post “struck a chord” with others in the Wisdom Hunter’s family searching to love Him more. That is why this devotional was written; so many of us just want to love Him even more!!
    Grateful for you~
    “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”
    1 John 3:1

  3. Bernita A. Phipps says:

    God bless you looking to grow I’m grace. Have been sorely attacked in my prayers, worship and study, but I am fighting my way out and believe God for victory. God bless your labor. In Christ, Bernita

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