I used to say I loved God before I even knew Him because even as a child I knew it was what I was supposed to do. But since God rescued me from my sin and gave me new life in Jesus Christ, I really can say I love God. They are no longer just words.
One morning, as I was reading my Bible, I paused a moment to meditate on the vastness and the presence of God. As a sense of peace and comfort washed over my soul I said, “I love you, Lord.”
I believe the Lord spoke to my heart with this thought: “Is that in theory or in practice?” I sat stunned by the thought. The question rolled around in my head, “do I love God in theory or in practice?”
Loving God is not just a sense of peace and comfort, it is action.
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,” Luke 10:27
What does it look like to love God with all my strength? The implication I believe is clear. Loving God results in action.
If you love Me, keep My commandments….He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me…Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word… John 14:15, 21, 23 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. 1 John 5:3
Keeping God’s commandments and keeping His word are active.
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. 1 John 4:20-21
Do I love God by loving my brothers and sisters in Christ? And my enemies? But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven… Matthew 5:44
If I love God in theory then it is no love at all for it has not been ‘proven’ through my action. Proven in the sense of “to test the truth, validity, or genuineness of.”
True, genuine, rich love of God overflows with a life of obedience and action. That sister, is loving God in practice.
I trust that will give you cause to ponder today, “Do I love God in theory or in practice?”
Diane Hunt served for 16 years on the staff of America’s Keswick until recently when she and her husband relocated to North Carolina. She now continues serving as a contributing writer and Partner Care consultant. Diane is also a Biblical Counselor, speaker, teacher, and author. She delights in the opportunities she has as a women’s conference and retreat speaker to share from God’s word. Many of her illustrations are drawn from her relational experiences as a wife, mother, and mema. They are the very relationships that bring her the greatest joy and the most fun!