Summary: Look at some thoughts and passages about what loving God is.
Rev. Bruce A. Shields
First Baptist Church
Tawas City, Michigan USA
Psalms 116:1 – 19
1 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the LORD:"O LORD, save me!"
5 The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.
6 The LORD protects the simple hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.
7 Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.
8 For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
10 I believed; therefore I said, "I am greatly afflicted."
11 And in my dismay I said, "All men are liars."
12 How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
16 O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant;
you have freed me from my chains.
17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the LORD— in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the LORD.
It’s hard to find a more tender expression of affection than the 116th Psalm.
The only thing in the New Testament that comes close is John 21.
Jesus asks Peter three times, "Do you love me? Do you love me? Do you really love me?"
And Peter said, "Lord, it hurts that you’re even asking me that question. I know I let you down. I cut off a man’s ear. I denied you three times. But Lord, you know my heart! You know that deep down; I’m not really like that! That’s not who I am! You know all things! You know that I love you! I’m not lying!"
And Jesus says, "Then PROVE IT! Feed my sheep! Take care of my lambs! Don’t just tell me you love me! Show me that you love me by the way you live your everyday life."
It’s one thing to express love to someone you can touch. See. And feel. But how do you express love for someone you CAN’T touch or see or feel?
How can we show the invisible, Almighty God that we really love Him?
That’s what the writer of Psalm 116 is concerned about.
In verse 12, he says "How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me? How can I show him how much He means to me?" The first thing we should do is to talk to God. Every day.
That’s what the Bible says we’re supposed to do.
Colossians 2:6 says "Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him."
What concerns me is that sometimes I see people accepting Christ as their Savior. But their way of life doesn’t change. They honor the Lord with their lips on Sunday. But their hearts are far from Him the rest of the week.
They still love the world way too much!
Saying that you love God is a wonderful thing.
But by itself, it is not enough. James 2:17 says "faith, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead! Simply saying, "I love you, Lord. And I lift my voice to worship you, o my soul," is not enough.
Saying, "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name," is not enough.
Matthew 7:21 says "Not everyone who says to me ’Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
So express our love for God, we must talk to God. Live for God. And: Serve God.
Verse 16 says, "O Lord, Truly I am your servant. The son of your maidservant." One the best ways we can show our love for God is to serve him wholeheartedly.
Matthew 25:40 says that "whatever you do for the least of my brethren, you’ve done it to me."
"Do you love the Lord? Is it evident in the way you live your life?