You hear it all the time. "We're just trying to gather together with people who love the Lord."
But how do you love the Lord? What does it mean to "Love the Lord"?
Our first problem is that we think we know what love is. Do we really know what it means to love - or does God have to teach us by giving us the Ten Commandments? "Love is the fulfilling of the Law" (Romans 13:10). The Ten Commandments are God's teaching on love. Love for God, and love for the neighbour (Matt. 22:37-38). It is the first table of the Law (Commandments 1-3) that teaches us how to love God.
But we think we know love. We aren't looking to the Commandments to teach us - we're looking inside ourselves - to our hearts. Have you ever got the impression from someone who says they "love the Lord" that what they mean is "He makes me feel good"? I have strong emotions for the Lord. I love Him. Yes, so do I - but what about when He disciplines you as your heavenly Father? What about when He doesn't give you what you pray for because His Will is different? What about when He doesn't make you feel good - do you love Him then? Is love for God more than warm feelings?
God teaches what it means to love Him - and it is not what we would first expect.
1. You shall have no other gods.
2. You shall not misuse the Name of the LORD your God.
3. Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy.
***According to God, Loving Him is entirely about how we treat His Holy Word, not about how He makes us feel. Our love for Him is an action, one He describes in the first table.***
First Commandment: Is God and His Word first? The first thing we trust? The first thing we look to when we want to understand and receive goodness?
Second Commandment: Does God's Word and Name have such a place in our lives, our heart and minds, that its purity is primary? Are we chiefly concerned with whether His Word is presented truthfully and faithfully? Are we praying for this? Studying diligently to be sure its happening in our midst? Is His doctrine important?
Third Commandment: Is the hearing of God's Word the ordering principle of our life? The thing upon which our lives are built? Do we recognize that without His Word our day is unholy, but by His Word all things, even we, are made holy?
This is love for God - Jesus teaches. It is about trusting, studying and hearing His Word. It is about growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
Beautiful Savior is trying to gather together with people who love the Lord - in study of His most faithful and merciful Word and promises. Come, learn, grow. To Him be glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.