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Love for God

How to Love God
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Get Pastor Damian Alamba's Book: THE MYSTERY OF PRAYER:  https://selar.co/tk7d







"Whom having not seen, ye love, in whom though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory". 
1 Peter 1:8 


To love God is our natural response to His goodness, grace, and mercy toward us. “We love Him because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19) should be the high point of our attitude towards God. This speaks of our intense delight and earnest desire for Him in acknowledgment of His graciousness. Let us now consider some factors that make this love real, vibrant, and glorious.

LOVE FOR GOD- THE REQUIREMENT

It is a command to love God (Mark 12:30). This is not just a mere suggestion, but an imperative that requires the surrendering of the whole being to our loving God. Nothing more,  nothing less. Loving God is not optional for some selected few. It is a commandment for every child of God. From the first day we declare the Lordship of Christ over our lives, we become indebted to God, to love Him in every circumstance. 

1.     WITH ALL YOUR HEART

The heart is the seat of life (Prov 4:23). The Holy Spirit for good reasons mentions it in Mark 15:18. Faith springs from the heart (Rom 10:10). Evil has roots in the heart too (Matt 15:18). The condition of the heart determines character (Luke 6:45). When the heart is given to God, blessings abound ( Prov 3:1-2). The lord will never accept anything from our hand except our hearts are first given to Him. God is not interested in our silver or gold, the most important thing God is looking for in every mortal is the heart. Please give Him your heart.


2.     WITH ALL YOUR SOUL

The soul represents the personality (Ezekiel 18:4). The soul must seek, serve and love God if life must be filled with comfort, joy, and peace. The gain of the world cannot be compared with the soul that seeks after God, neither is anything worthy to be exchanged for it. The real asset of a man is his soul. Until our Souls pant and long after God, we are not yet in love. Genuine love for God is not a mere expression of the mouth but a deep hunger and panting of the soul for intimacy and fellowship with the father. What is your soul longing for? 

3.     WITH ALL YOUR MIND


How to Love God
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Get Pastor Damian Alamba's Book: THE MYSTERY OF PRAYER:  https://selar.co/tk7d



The mind is the organ of thought and reason. The Lord requires that the intelligence and thought processes be utilized in loving Him. “As a man thinketh, so is he” (Prov 23:7). The Holy Spirit advises us on what kind of thoughts to think (Phil 4:8). For the mind to be at peace, the mind must rest and center on God (Isaiah 26:3). This is how to have a spiritual mind and live in peace (Rom 8:6). We can't claim to love God if we only think about Him once in a blue moon. When your love for God is genuine, you can't help but think about Him every now and then. When you wake up in the morning, who or what comes to your mind first? Before you retire to your bed at night, who or what comes to your mind? Your love for God will fill your thought with God and the things of His kingdom. Do you barely remember to pray these days? Do you need to be reminded before you read your bible? When God is far from your mind, you have lost your love for God without knowing.

4.     WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH

Strength is the power for producing an effect. All the mental and physical power of a man must yield to God in love. A man’s strength mental, moral, or physical must not be used for unholy acts. Rather this strength should be used in seeking and serving God. And God will in return renew the strength and grant victory in all circumstances (Isaiah 40:29-31). Whatever we are today, God made us. Whatever we have now, God gave us. Therefore, we must use our financial, political, academic, social, and spiritual positions and possessions to love God and promote His kingdom.


Love for Your Local Church: An Indicator of Love for God


Love for God and for your local church
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Get Pastor Damian Alamba's Book: THE MYSTERY OF PRAYER:  https://selar.co/tk7d


"Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house". 1 Chron 29:3


The local church is the visible representation of the universal body of Christ whose members worship the true God in Christ and in love, minister to one another. This organized body of believers confines to a meeting point as a result of geographical constraints. The meeting point may be a house, a school building, or its own property as the church expands. Must I belong to a particular church? Can’t I worship God in my house alone without going to any church? This lesson provides the answer.

THE COMMAND


It is important to note that the Bible commands us not to forsake the “Assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some” (Heb 10:25). Some believers roam about from one church to another without having roots in any. They compare one pastor with another, a teacher with teacher and building with building, etc. They are always looking for miracles without any interest in having a personal relationship with God. Such are the fault-finders. This is a sure mark of foolishness, immaturity, and carnality (1Cor 3:1-4). They are in danger of becoming the salt that has lost its savor and might be blown about by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14).

THE IDENTIFICATION

Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together. Hebrews 10:25

First of all when you come together as a Church. 1 Cor 11:18
This suggests very strongly the Spirit’s fervent desire for the Brethren in a particular local church to unite together in love for Christ and His Church. Your membership in a particular church puts you in the position to contribute effectively to the progress of God’s kingdom on earth.  Also, the members are entitled to several benefits that accrue to members such as Pastoral care, concern, and visit because they are members of his flock. No wonder David declared his love for God’s house in a very strong language (Psalm 122:1) because he realized its importance; where he could offer worship and praise to God (Psalm 84:40.

THE COMMITMENT


King David was a man whose affections centered upon God. It was impossible for him to love God without loving his house which is the local church in much the same manner. He could exclaim “the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up” (Psalm 69:9). When speaking of service, commitment, and obedience to God with respect to maintaining God’s house in proper order. Is there any wonder he felt incomplete if he did not build God a magnificent house? (1 Chronicles 28:2). He stood up to challenge others with his commitment “to give over and above all” his original intention ( 1 Chronicles 29:3). What are you doing to encourage the work of God in your local church? Have you given your talent, your time, your finances to the work of God? Look around in your local Church and ask God where you and how you can help and take the initiative. Do so promptly and cheerfully. You will be blessed for
 doing so.

Brotherly Kindness: A Proof of Love for God 



Anchor Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:5-7Romans 12:10

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour prefering one another.

The importance of brotherly kindness and love in the life of a Christian cannot be overemphasized. These are two befitting qualities without which Christianity will completely lose its uniqueness and become like other religions of the world.

EXPLANATIONS OF LOVE OR BROTHERLY KINDNESS
Agape love is God’s kind of love. It’s that love that gives without asking for anything in return. It’s an unconditional love that seeks the highest good of the other person.  It varies from Eros, Phileo and Storge.
Brethren means members of the body of Christ. It is not a word that describes a loose or voluntary association of like-minded people with identical interest. It is something much more than that. One does not just become a Christian because one goes to church. But one is born into it and becomes a part of it as a result of the new birth (John 3:3, John 1:12). This bond is very strong. We are related to God and to one another through faith in Jesus Christ and by His blood (Rom 8:1, Acts 20:28, Rev 5:9).  Brotherly kindness means benevolence, generosity, concern and interest which characterize our relationship with one another.

EXPRESSION OF BROTHERLY KINDNESS
Love not expressed is not love. Love or kindness must be demonstrated through good works, irrespective of one another’s weaknesses (Rom 5:8).  We must learn to say things like, “I love you” to one another without any hypocrisy in it. Expressing the love of God to each other is very important because it brings assurance and comfort to the heart especially in times of trouble.  How can we show the love of God to others? We can show the love of God to other people through forgiveness, respecting each other, submitting to one another, bearing one another’s burdens etc.

EFFECT OF LOVE OR BROTHERLY KINDNESS
Love covers a multitude of sin (1 Peter 4:8, 1 Cor 13:4-8). It brings peace, unity and maturity in the body of Christ. Where there is no love, there will be envy, backbiting, quarrels, selfishness etc. Unforgiveness and hatred are the mark of a loveless heart. Where the love of God is, it is impossible to live in anger, criticism, divisions and strife. If we must see another Pentecost today in the church, we must bring in unity and we must have unity, then love must be present.

THE COMMANDMENT OF LOVE

Love is not optional. It is a commandment in the New Testament church (John 15:17). Some people trade love for favour, money or other material things. For such folks,  if you do them a favour or give them material things, they will show you love in return and when you don’t, their love is not for you.  I like to call such people business-lovers. They are not the children of God, even though they still go to church. As Christians, we are under obligation to show God’s love to the people around us even when they have done us much wrong. This is the granite truth and pragmatic aspect of Christianity. Jesus Christ teaches us that the only way to be perfect and to be like our heavenly father is to love our enemies,  bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us and pray for those who despitefully use us (Matt 5:44-45). But how many Christians today will you curse and they won’t curse you back? Some will even curse you back a hundred times to your face. How many Christians today will see a man who has done them much bad and will not vow to pay him back with his own coin? This kind of life we have today is it Christianity or Churchiality? Didn’t the bible say that the love of God is shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Ghost? God cannot tell us to do what He knows we cannot do. Jesus Christ Himself has given us a perfect example by shedding aside His heavenly glory and coming into this world to die for us on the cross of Calvary. 

“No greater love has anyone than this, that a man should lay down his life for his friends”. 

God’s love is sacrificial. It is always ready to lay down his life for others because He cares. God’s love pays the ultimate price to lift up the beloved. What has your love for God and His people cost you? Love is what makes Christianity real, vibrant and unique.  Love for God and love for the brethren is the first and last commandment.


CONCLUSION

God has brought you here as a member of the body of Christ to contribute to the perfecting and building up of the Saints. So start up the good work today in your local church. By doing so you will leave generational blessings for your children’s children. We have seen that the full expression of our love for God involves the heart, the soul, the mind, and the strength. This is how to love God and we cannot do otherwise.

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