Do I Love God - A Self-Examination

Bible Book: 1 Corinthians  12 : 31
Subject: Love for God
Introduction

We are commanded to love God, to love one another, and to love our enemies.

The key to our love is to realize that the first object of our love is God Himself.

Galatians teaches that love is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, therefore, we cannot produce it but it can be indeed displayed in our life.

I. WITH ALL MY HEART.

If the Lord is our God, we must fearfully exercise our love with a full heart firmly focused on Him. This speaks of devotion and worship. It begins with fixing our hearts at the beginning of each day, remembering His beauty and delighting therein. Then we must strive to keep our hearts fixed all through the day guarding against any and all worldly distractions.

“The more we see His love, the more we grow in the exquisite joy of intimacy.”

Clyde Campbell

Augustine wrote, “What do I love when I love Thee?...I love a certain light, and a certain voice, a certain fragrance, a certain food, a certain embrace when I love my God.” There is something so comfortable about loving God.

Tim DeTellis quote, “Guard your joy! Protect your heart. Most powerful force in your leadership is unity. You and God can do anything. God made you for this!”

God commands love by His very nature. Those who know Him cannot help but love Him. He is so perfectly, infinitely lovely. We may grieve the Holy Spirit by saying yes to sin but this does not diminish His love. You can only grieve someone who truly loves you. We may quench the Spirit by saying no to His prompting but this does not cause Him to withdraw and stand aloof. He simply waits for the time to woo again, working in us all the while to change and soften our hearts.

II. WITH ALL MY SOUL.

This means with all our life, with all the energy of the inner man, and with every outward manifestation. We do this primarily through the consecration of our bodies and of the lives we live in those bodies. Therefore, active obedience in the Christian life is the supreme expression of love to
God.

III. WITH ALL MY MIND.

This means to give our thought life to Him, renewing our minds with Scripture and focusing our minds on good, high, and noble things. (Phil 4:8). To develop our minds to the glory of God is to love Him with our minds.

There are so many pitfalls in our culture that can discourage real thinking. The business of loving God requires stretching all our faculties to their outer limits, including our mental powers.

“Overcoming sin, blessed though it surely is, but the bare minimum of a believer’s experience. There is nothing astonishing in it. Not to overcome sin is what ought to astonish us.” Watchman Nee

A. IN PREEMINENCE.

To love God is foremost. This means that our love for God must be preeminent in our lives. All other loves must pale in comparison to this first love.

1. No Rival.

Luke 14:26, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.”

These words seem to stress the necessity of Christ’s supremacy in our hearts. Our love for Him must be so preeminent that all other loves are as hatred.

2. No Refusal.

Luke 14:27, “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

The cross represents sacrifice and submission to the will of God. To love Christ is never to refuse any sacrifice that love might require.

3. No Retreat.

When we come to Christ, we must count the cost, and there is a cost to love. Once we set our hand to the plow, love demands that we not look back (Luke 9:62). If we love Christ, we will follow Him to the very end.

4. No Reservation.

Luke 14:33, “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

Nothing can be of more value to us than Christ. There must be nothing, temporal or eternal, which in any way threatens His preeminence in our hearts and lives.

B. IN OBEDIENCE.

To love God is to obey God. Our obedience is directly proportioned to our love. If we do not obey, how can we say that we love? We are not perfect in our love, but we must at least want to love and obey God perfectly.

SELF EXAMINATION:

Do you specifically love the Ten Commandments and see them as positives for God’s glory or as negatives that weigh you down? Loving the moral law is not difficult if we love God, because the law of God represents His desires, and we should love what He desires. As a result, we determine in our hearts that:

We will have no other God but Him.
We will refuse to be more impressed with any man or any other part of God’s creation than with Him.
His name and all it represents will be sacred and honored in our lives.
We will joyfully set aside a day devoted only to rest, reflection, and the joy of corporate worship. And we will love the Lord our God will all our heats, souls, and minds.
We will honor all men but especially our parents, who must hold a special place of honor in our hearts, our conversations, and our lives.
We will so value the love of others that we will nurture and preserve them rather than snuff them out.
We will honor marriage vows as sacred to God
We will deal with honesty and integrity.
Not defrauding, misusing, or robbing.
Rejoice in other’s blessings without envy but with real contentment, even though those blessings might be more substantial than our own.

(We will love our neighbor as ourselves)

These are high standards but not too high for love. The proof that we are alive spiritually is not that we are full but that we are hungry.

Matt 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

QUESTIONS FOR SELF-EXAMINATION:

1. Do you long to be free from the power of sin?

Gal 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Rom 6:7, “For he who has died has been freed from sin.”

2. Do you long to be free from the love of sin?

Any Christian who is truly honest with himself will acknowledge that there is within him a love of sin (flesh). But there will also be a longing to be free from that love, a weariness of sin, and a growing attraction to Christ.

3. Are you beginning to hate the sin in you because it is an offense to God? We begin to see the sin for what it really is, a love of self and exalting self as God.

4. Do you hunger for God, not merely for the things of God, but for God Himself?

Ps 42:1, “As the deer pants for the water brooks,

So pants my soul for You, O God.”

Ps 63:1

“O God, You are my God;

Early will I seek You;

My soul thirsts for You;

My flesh longs for You

In a dry and thirsty land

Where there is no water.”

5. Do you long to know God in a deeper intimacy than ever before?

Phil 3:10, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death”

6. Do you long to be like Jesus?

John 8:29, “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him."

If your answers were yes to these questions, even if that yes is weak, you have a hunger and thirst for righteousness. This hunger, generated by the indwelling Holy Spirit, is the earnest of “being filled.”