The more you know God, the easier it is for you to love Him—human relationships. When you know the deeper intricacies of a person, it only helps you to appreciate and love him/her more (Psalm 34:8). So, what does it mean to love God? There are a few practical ways to love God and grow in your love for Him on a daily basis.
At the core, loving God means that we put Him first in every area of our lives. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is: "you shall 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; Deuteronomy 6:5). God needs to be our number one priority. As we focus on Him, we are not swayed as easily by the things of this world. We are better able to love Him not just in our words but in our actions. Additionally, as we love God, He helps us to better love other people (Mark 12:31).
One way we show God love is by worshipping and praising Him, and Him alone (Luke 4:8). The book of Psalms gives us insight as to how we can give God love through our worship, praise, and thanksgiving toward Him (e.g., Psalms 8, 19, 23, 24, 67, 99, 117, and 150). Psalm 100 says: "Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations."
If we want to love God better, we need to develop a love for His Word. God's Word teaches us about His character and it helps us to desire God, His righteousness, and His kingdom (Psalm 42:1; 119:105; Matthew 6:10). We find out that God is the source of all that we need: "Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" (Psalm 73:25–26). By reading God's Word and spending time in prayer, we get to know His voice and His heart.
When we love God, we obey what He commands (John 14:15, 23; 15:10; 1 John 5:3). This obedience is not rooted in merely rote religious requirements; it is rooted in the fact that we know how much God loves us, so we naturally desire to please Him (Psalm 40:8). We cannot love both the world and God simultaneously (1 John 2:15), but when we truly know God and experience His love for us, we willingly choose to love Him back. Like Mary of Bethany, we desire to listen to what He is saying (Luke 10:39). As 1 John 4:19 says: "We love because he first loved us."
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