This is a command, given to us by Jesus and we see it all over in Scripture. The Israelites received the 10 commandments in Exodus 20 and the first command was to honor God, and how to do that. To have “no other god” before Him. He is it, the One and Only.
The first five commandments are ways we can show our love to God. We are not to make an idol, or likeness of anything, nor worship or serve anything but Him. He is jealous and will show lovingkindness (hesed) love to those to “love me and obey my commands” v 6.
Interesting that God Himself tells us His love language! We can show Him how we love Him by keeping his commandments. We are also to revere His name – not take it in vain, v.7; and to remember the sabbath – a day of rest He gifted us with, v 8-11.
Jesus talks about love so often and tells us that the love of the Father is the source of all love. We cannot love well or truly love, without receiving the love of the Father first.
We love because He first loved us.
This is not just a Bible verse to remember, but to apply! We can only love well when we know Love Himself. When we surrender and submit our lives to the Lord, through Jesus our Savior, we can then receive the love intended for us. It is from this love that we can draw from, and can love God in return.
We don’t obey to get love…we obey because we love. Love has already been given to us in the finished work of Christ on the Cross. We are recipients of the greatest act of love imaginable. We have an endless supply of love, true love, at our disposal as a resource to dip into when we need it. This is reason enough to love God.
We are commanded to love God with all our heart, soul, strength.
I am reading through the Bible again this year and have just been through Deuteronomy where this command is; chapter 6:5. This love is demonstrated by obedience. He gave us rules to follow, not to keep us from fun, but to keep us from harm.
Like a good dad places a baby into a playpen, car seat, or a gated room to keep them safe. We have space to do the things that we are gifted and called to do, and to deviate into other areas is unsafe. It is where the enemy can cause us harm, and a good Father is protective of His kids.
All throughout the book of Deuteronomy, this is communicated – love God by obeying His commandments. It is spoken of in Daniel as well, and many other Old Testament books also reiterate this so that we can “get it”. David speaks of loving God all throughout the Psalms. God wants us to understand how to show Him our love, how to return His love to Him. That is the meaning of the word “repent”… to “think differently”- renew our minds, to turn away from other things and back to Him.
Where is the Father showing you how you can better love Him today? How does this play out in your life, practically speaking?
I encourage you to take a moment and ask Him to show you how to love Him well…how to love Him with all of your heart, soul, mind, body, and strength. It is possible, because of the love He has poured into us first.