It is one of the most amazing facts in the Bible that just as God’s love involves giving of himself to make us happy and give us joy, so we in return can give of ourselves and actually bring joy to God’s heart. Isaiah promises God’s people ‘as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.’ (Isaiah 62:5), and Zephaniah 3:17 we read ‘The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.’
All of our obligations to God can be summarized in these two verse found in Matthew 22:23-38 ‘’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.’ If we love God, then we will obey his commandments (1 John 5:3) and therefore do what is pleasing to him.
Our obedience to God’s commands is the expression of trusting Christ. It is not our words but our deeds that demonstrate our love. Love of Jesus is measured by obedience to what he commands (John 14:15 and 15:14). “He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me” (John 14:21).
Jonathan Edwards: A true love of God must begin with a delight in his holiness, and not with a delight in any other attribute; for no other attribute is truly lovely without this.
What does it really mean to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind? Here are some obvious aspects we find in scripture:
- Your love for God transcends all other desires (see Exodus 20:3).
- Like David, you long to gaze upon His beauty and seek fellowship with Him (see Psalm 27:4).
- You rejoice in meditating on His Word, and, like Jesus, your eager to pray (Psalm 119:97, Mark 1:35).
- You always delight to do His will, regardless of how difficult it may be (see Psalm 40:8, NASB).
- A regard for His glory governs and motivates everything you do – your eating and drinking, your working and playing, your buying and selling, your reading and speaking – and, even your driving (see 1 Corinthians 10:31).
- Your not easily discouraged or frustrated by adverse circumstances because you are confident God is working all things together for your good (see Romans 8:28).
- You recognize His sovereignty in every event of your life and consequently receive both success and failure from His hand (see 1 Samuel 2:7; Psalm 75:6-7).
- You are always content because you know He will never leave you or forsake you (see Hebrews 13:5).
To love God does not mean to meet His needs, but rather to delight in Him and to be captivated by His glorious power and grace, and to value Him above all other things on earth. All the rest of the commandments are the kinds of things that we will do from our hearts, if our hearts are truly delighted with and resting in the glory of God’s grace.