22300.030 How Do We Love God?

Day 30

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”
Then the righteous will answer Him saying, “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?”
And the King will answer and say to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:34–40) 

Have you ever wondered, How do I love God? How does God want me to show that I love Him? Is it through singing songs of praise? Will He know that I love Him if I obey the Ten Commandments? Does He want me to shout into the sky, “I love You, Lord”? 

Jesus’ description of the King and his kingdom answers these questions. God wants us to demonstrate our love for Him by loving others. He accepts our love for others as our love for Him. 

The Old Covenant contained two great commandments: “You shall love the LORD your God …” and “You shall love your neighbor …” (Matthew 22:37, 39). But Jesus gave us a single command: “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Jesus’ command does not mention loving God. Only one command is required because by loving others we are loving God. There is no need for two commands; both are contained in the one. 

God is intimately connected to His people. When Saul (who became Paul) was blinded by a bright light on the road to Damascus, Jesus spoke to him, “Saul. Saul. Why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4). After Peter denied knowing Jesus three times, the Lord took the fisherman aside and asked him three times, “Peter, do you love Me.” And each time, after Peter responded, “Yes,” Jesus said, “Feed My lambs.” “Tend My Sheep.” “Feed My sheep” (John 21:15–17). 

Jesus is so closely identified—so in union—with His followers that it is as if He is saying, “Every act of kindness you do for another you are actually doing for Me.” “As you care for others, I feel your love.” 

Hands-on, human acts of goodness, give us a picture of what heavenly love looks like on earth and they satisfy the heart of God. When you treat others with compassion, you are showing Him compassion. When you stop for a homeless person, you are stopping for Him. When you feed the hungry (physically or spiritually), you are feeding Him. When you comfort a friend in a difficult place, welcome a stranger or visit one who is sick, you are caring for Him. 

God is pleased when you give people the love their soul so desperately desires. When you treat others with loving kindness—as the treasured people they are—they begin to realize they are valued. In loving others, you reveal to them their own inherent beauty and declare to them their own incredible worth. Oh, the joy this brings to Jesus. 

You, my friend, were created to know God’s love and let it pour out of you to others. God gave you your unique place in the world to love those around you. In the wonderful way God made His kingdom, He accepts your love for others as your love for Him. 

Ponder for a Moment 

Who has God placed in your path to treat with lovingkindness? How might you best care for that person today? 

How might it change your attitudes and interactions to realize that in caring for someone, you are caring for Jesus?