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Summary: Our forst responsibility as Christians is to love God. But how? This sermon shows what loving God looks like.

34But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they thought up a fresh question of their own to ask him. 35One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

37Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Jesus, quoting Deuteronomy 6:5 (quickview) , said we are commanded to love God. How can someone be commanded to love a person? Isn’t love to be spontaneous? Isn’t love something that magically happens? How can love be commanded?

Love grows. Love doesn’t happen over night. The Bible teaches us that our love for God grows as...

I love God in response to God’s love for me.

1 John 4:7-10 (quickview)  (NLT)

7Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8But anyone who does not love does not know God—for God is love.

9God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

Underline It is not that we loved God...

God has taken the initiative to love us. Our love for God is in response to his love for us.

On my own, I am incapable of loving God. I have never seen God. I love God because he first loved me.

Outline of Bible

Genesis 1 & 2 (quickview)  — God created the heavens & earth

Genesis 3 (quickview)  — Humans sinned against God

Genesis 4 (quickview)  - Revelation 22 (quickview)  — God is calling people into a relationship with him

When we are unlovable, God loves us. When we rebel from God, God loves us. God’s love is so compelling that we respond with love for him.

I love God when I place God #1 in my life . Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (quickview)  (NKJV)

4“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! 5You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

These verses are called the Shema. Jews would recite these words many times a day. The Shema reminded them of who they served. It reminded them that God was one God and he alone was to be worshiped.

To love God means to worship him. We worship what ever is important to us. God claims first place in our lives.

The first of the Ten Commandments is that we are to have no other gods before the Lord. Why? Because he is a jealous God. He will not tolerate any other god in our lives.

Placing God in the first priority isn’t easy. There are many people and things vying for that position. We struggle to keep God there.

We set goals od spending time with God first thing in the mornings, but the newspaper or CNN get our attention. We decide to spend time with the Lord during our lunch break or just before bed time. But someone intrudes on our time with God or we’re too tired to pray and read the Bible. Sometimes our ministry of helping others interferes with our time with God.


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