It’s the greatest command found in all of the Bible, as per Jesus’ words in Mark 12:29-31 – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” But, how do we do this? Is this love of which Jesus spoke to be rendered down into nothing more than an emotional feeling like that of any sane person to his freshly baked pizza sitting in front of him? I’m not the first to tell you, the answer is a resounding “NO!” The love of man for his Lord is much, much, much more than this sort of feeling.

The love that is commanded and deserved by God is something which, while very difficult at times, is an action word. It is something which transcends the mere mental appreciation or even adoration that some would ascribe to it and is actually shown forth in a person’s life by the actions which he does.

Here are the first 4 ways in which the Scriptures tell us that our love for God is shown to Him.

Obey His Commands – John 14:15

In what is probably one of the most concise statements made by Jesus Christ regarding love, He forever showed the undeniable fact that our love for/to God is founded upon the foundation of obedience.

While obedience is sometimes scoffed at by many of the religiously minded people of our day, it is vital to the salvation and faithfulness of the child of God.

Let’s ask this question, “How in the world is God to know that we love Him if we look Him and His commands dead in the eye and say, ‘That’s not for me?” How egotistical does one have to be?!

Give…Abundantly – 2 Corinthians 8:8

It might be somewhat of a shock to you (as it was to myself), but it is scientifically proven that giving more (specifically regarding financial giving) increases one’s own outlook on his life and his happiness. However, God’s commands to give have less to do with our own feelings, as our feelings do not dictate how or what we should do to obey Him, and more to do with the help of His children and those who are in need.

That isn’t to say that we can gather no personal benefit from our giving of our means to the work of the Lord (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:2), but rather to say that our giving directly effects our faithfulness to Him and, according to Paul’s explanation of his “testing the sincerity of…love by the diligence of others (2 Corinthians 8:8). Our giving shows whether or not we are being sincere in our love to God! I mean, what other part of worship is as secret as the giving? The only people that might know what you gave is the person cashing the checks and the elders (depending on the congregation).

Therefore, if we are going to love God, we are going give Him what He deserves… all of it! That means giving Him ourselves first (2 Corinthians 8:5) and then following that up with giving out of our wallets to help His cause. He doesn’t need the money to save, but His church needs the money to preach that salvation!

Respect His Workers – 1 Thessalonians 5:13

 In a section of Scripture often read quickly and studied briefly, Paul makes mention of something which might or might not be done within our lives very often. While I am a preacher of the Gospel and therefore get somewhat uneasy when writing or speaking on such things, Paul emphatically commands that the workers in the Kingdom of Christ (i.e. the “ministers” or preachers) ought to be “esteemed” very highly for their work’s sake. Not that preachers are somehow better or more important that the “average member” (I hate saying that, but for lack of a better term…) but the work of the preacher is something which should be respected.

Notice, that esteem given to the preacher because of the work which he has taken upon himself (i.e. the education and edification of the body of Christ) is to be done in love, showing this command to be, by extension, a love to God. Since God has set the way by which He instructs mankind to be through the Word which is preached by men today (Romans 10:14-17), the words spoken by those men are to be understood as the very words of the Almighty (provided the man is preaching the Bible and not his opinions or man’s doctrines).

That goes the same for those who Paul describes as “over” the brethren – the elders. While I believe that sometimes, preachers are shown the esteem that they deserve for their position in the church, I’m also convinced that many times elders are not given the same. If you don’t believe the need for good, qualified, strong elders, attend a congregation who is not afforded the ability to have such because of a lack of men or some other circumstance and you will quickly see that the only way that a congregation can truly thrive is under the oversight of faithful men of God – elders.

Endure Temptations – James 1:12

Yet another way that we can readily show our Father that we love Him, aside from respecting His workers, giving back to Him and obeying all of His commands, is to endure the temptations of this world. James connects those who endure to those who love the Almighty in James 1:12. Why, you might ask? Because James 1 is all about trusting in Him for everything that we need. Whether the need is help through some outward trial which leads us to be tempted to sin or whether it is in our every day lives understanding that we much follow His word in order to have the full and abundant life of which the Christ spoke (James 1:21-27, John 10:10).

What better way to show God that we love Him then to, by our works and less by our prayers, even though those are vitally important as well, trust Him through our difficult times? How many Christians have in essence told God that He wasn’t what they needed by deserting Him in their low points in life, turning to their own ways to “make it through”? God created us to worship Him (Ecclesiastes 12:13) but at the same time, He created us to need Him and if we give up and into our temptations, we’ve rejected all the help that He has promised and is poised to give at the moments notice (1 Corinthians 10:11-13).

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