What It Means to Love God

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.(Psalm 63:1–2)

Only God will satisfy a heart like David’s. And David was a man after God’s own heart. That’s the way we were created to be.

This is the essence of what it means to love God: to be satisfied in him. In him!

Loving God will include obeying all his commands; it will include believing all his word; it will include thanking him for all his gifts; but the essence of loving God is enjoying all he is. And it is this enjoyment of God that glorifies his worth most fully.

We all know this intuitively as well as from Scripture. Do we feel most honored by the love of those who serve us from the constraints of duty, or from the delights of fellowship?

My wife is most honored when I say, “It makes me happy to spend time with you.” My happiness is the echo of her excellence. And so it is with God. He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.

None of us has arrived at perfect satisfaction in God. I grieve often over the murmuring of my heart at the loss of worldly comforts. But I have tasted that the Lord is good. By God’s grace I now know the fountain of everlasting joy.

And so I love to spend my days luring people into joy until they say with me, “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).

“Unfeigned love of the brethren”

The title is part of 1 Peter 1:22, which reads, “Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently”. The word, ‘unfeigned’ is used four times in the bible: one other time in reference to love as here, and twice to describe true faith. It is a very demanding word for the serious christian. We are commanded to love one another; not just those we like, but all who are Christ’s. We are to love them because they are Christ’s; and we have to love them unfeignedly, that is, sincerely. Let us look more closely at this word.

To put it in the simplest language, unfeigned love is sincere love; love without pretence; love which is true and unstained with hypocrisy. In fact the word in the original language, translates simply as ‘without hypocrisy’. This standard of love is very high, even for those who are in a state of grace, that is, people who are RightWithGod through Jesus Christ. Christ Himself was the only one ever who was able to practise this love perfectly, and His command to us His people is, “That ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 13:34). His love was truly unfeigned love; it was perfect love which had no trace of hypocrisy in it. That is the standard that He set for us. We must never stop trying to reach this standard, although we will never reach it in this life. This quest makes us long for heaven where we will be separated from sin forever, and be able to love Christ and one another with unfeigned love.

More at: http://www.rightwithgod.net/?p=465

How Are You Doing with Compassion?

http://thecripplegate.com/how-are-you-doing-with-your-compassion/

Love Is Not a Verb

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/love-is-not-a-verb

The Story of God and 1 John 3:11–18

~ Jeremy Bouma

http://zondervanacademic.com/blog/the-story-of-god-and-1-john-311-18/

The Key to Radical Love

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11–12)

One of the questions I posed while preaching on loving our enemies from Matthew 5:44 was, How do you love the people who kidnap you and then kill you?

How can we do this? Where does the power to love like this come from? Just think how astonishing this is when it appears in the real world! Could anything show the truth and power and reality of Christ more than this?

I believe Jesus gives us the key to this radical, self-sacrificing love, described in Matthew 5:44, earlier in the very same chapter.

In Matthew 5:11–12, he is again talking about being persecuted, just like he was when he said in Matthew 5:44, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” What is remarkable about these verses is that Jesus says that you are able not only to endure the mistreatment of the enemy, but rejoice in it. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you. . . . Rejoice and be glad.”

This seems even more beyond our reach than praying for our enemies or doing good to them. If I could do this humanly impossible thing — namely, rejoicein being persecuted — then it would be possible to love my persecutors. If the miracle of joy in the midst of the horror of injustice and pain and loss could happen, then the miracle of love for the perpetrators could happen too.

Jesus gives the key to joy in these verses. He says, “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.” The key to joy is faith in God’s future grace — that is, being satisfied in all that God promises to be for you. He says, “Rejoice, for your reward is great in heaven.” Our joy in persecution is the joy of heaven streaming back into this moment of horror and setting us free to love. So, this joy is the freeing power to love our enemies when they persecute us.

If that is true, then the command to love is implicitly also a command to set our minds on things that are above — all that God promises to be for us — not on things that are on the earth (Colossians 3:2).

The command to love our enemy is a command to find our hope and our deepest soul-satisfaction in God and his great reward — his future grace. The key to radical love is faith in future grace. We must be persuaded in the midst of our agony that the love of God is “better than life” (Psalm 63:3). Loving your enemy doesn’t earn you the reward of heaven. Treasuring the reward of heaven empowers you to love your enemy.

Great Verses of the Bible: John 3:16

https://thepreachersword.com/2017/04/26/great-verses-of-the-bible-john-316/#more-10577