What is love for God?

The definition of love is: strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.  So often we look to our emotions to confirm that we love God.

However, love is not only an emotion, it’s also a choice.  This study is meant to give us a Bible foundation and perspective of what it means to love God.

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees… I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.
Psalm 119:10-16

A deep love for God will translate into a deep love for his words.

Are you grateful for the Bible?  Do you love reading the Bible?

 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.
1 John 5:3

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
2 John 1:16 

Loving God is obedience to his commands?

Do you daily show your love for God by obeying the scriptures?

But whoever loves God is known by God.
1 Corinthians 8:3

A key to loving God is the willingness to be known by him.

How hard do you work at being vulnerable and honest with God so that he can know you?

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
1 John 2:15-17

Loving God means valuing the things he values over worldliness.

What are the things that compete for God’s place in your heart?

I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
John 5:41-44

When we love the praise of people, we won’t love God.

In who do you pursue approval, attention, and affection from that you should be pursuing in God?

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.
Matthew 24:12

Loving God is dealing with the sins in your heart that cause your love to grow cold.

What sins in your heart have kept your love cold that you need to deal with?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:30-31

Loving God is not merely an emotion.  It involves loving him with all of yourself- heart, soul, mind, and strength.

What would it look like for you to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, & strength?

 I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shieldand the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:1-2

Part of loving God is making him your source of security (strength, rock, stronghold).

In what ways can you trust in God in more to show your love for him?

How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you. If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
Psalm 139: 17-22

A love for God will develop into deep convictions about sin and indignation when you see them in other people?

Do you see an indignation about sin in your life?  What does that say about your love for God?

 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
John 21:15-17

A manifestation of your love for God will show in your love & service to other people.

What people in your life can you love & serve as a result of your love for God?

Brian Nitta

Brian Nitta

Before Brian was a minister for the Bay Area Christian Church, he was a world class judo competitor from San Jose State University. His experiences as a fighter and as a counselor have given him a unique perspective that he brings to his contributions to Inspire.

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