God is Love – Love God Because He Loved Us
Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
During the ministry of Jesus Christ, he was constantly being challenge by the religious leadership of his day. On one such occasion, Jesus was asked by a Lawyer what was the greatest commandment in the Law (Matthew 22:36). To which Jesus answered and said to fully love God. (Matthew 22:37)
From the birth of the Church at Pentecost, New Covenant believers have been trying ever since to fulfill this command of Jesus. Many around the world are trying to love God more, as if love is something that we can work up by our effort. The only problem is that we forget the context of the verses. Jesus was asked a question about the Law of Moses, and in His answer He quoted right out of the Law from, Deuteronomy 6:5. The Commandment to love God is part of the Old Covenant, and cannot be mixed with the New Covenant.
1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
Under the New Covenant, our love for God is not a commandment, rather it is a fruit of our relationship with God. Our love towards God is a response to receiving the amazing revelation of all he has done for us in the Finished work as an expressing of His Love to us.
We see these ways of relating to God in the lives of two of the disciples of Jesus, Peter and John. Peter was set to showing how much he loved Jesus by his works. Full credit to Peter, he did amazing exploits in doing so. Ultimately his attempts to love Christ failed him as he denied Christ three times. Peter in many ways is where many believers find themselves, trying to love God by their works.
The New Covenant realities are found in the life of John, the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 13:23). It is important to remember that John wrote that about himself. He never boasted in his Love for Jesus, although it was clear that he did, His Boast was squarely on Jesus’ Love For Him.
The New Covenant is not all about Loving God, it is about allowing God to Love us. Even if we feel no love for God, or even if we hate God, that does not change the way He feels about us. Jesus said, the exact same love that the Father Loves Him, He Loves Us (John 15:9 ). He can’t love us any more than he already does. We should not condemn ourselves by our lack of Love, rather we allow him to pour His life into us, and soon we find ourselves effortless loving as He does, by His Grace in our Lives.