Summary: What Does It Really Mean to Love God?
Matthew 22:37 NLT
Jesus replied, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.
Matthew 22:37 MSG
Jesus said, ""Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’
Many people have emotional love for God, but He wants more than that from Believers. In order to accomplish God’s will for your life, you must learn the true meaning behind “agape” love and separate yourself from the world’s system of operation. This is how you demonstrate genuine love toward God and your neighbor so that, ultimately, the world might be saved.
1) The verb form of “agape” is agapeo.
a) Agapeo is a Greek word that means, “to love.”
b) When the Bible instructs you to love God and your neighbor, it is referring to agapeo, which also means, “to totally give yourself over to; to totally commit.”
2) You can agapeo things other than God.
a) The concept of being totally committed to something is not a foreign one. Many people give themselves over to people, material possessions or their careers. The world calls this kind of devotion “being addicted.”
b) God wants you to be addicted to Him.
c) God is looking for people to be so committed to Him that their prayer is, “Lord, let divine love control my thoughts, mouth and attitude.”
3) People have the ability to make a choice about what they are tied to. They commit to and attach themselves to different things in life, such as:
a) Darkness of the world.
i) Some people are more committed to the darkness of the world than they are to the light of God (John 3:19).
b) Praise from men.
i) Some people commit to the praise of men rather than the praise of God. These people are in bondage to the opinions of others. They are concerned with how they look, what they are wearing, what they drive and where they live because they care more about their reputation than anything else (John 12:43).
i) Some people feel as though they are too important to submit to authority (Luke 11:43). Whenever your focus is more on you than on God, it is time for you to evaluate yourself and your motives. Your job is to make Jesus famous, not yourself.
d) The world’s system of operation.
i) Often, people commit to the world’s system of operating, which opposes the Word of God (2 Timothy 4:10). As a Believer, you must remember that although you live in the world, you should not be in love with the world and the way that it operates.
(1) Jesus gave the great commission to go into the world and preach the Gospel. It’s easy to preach the Gospel in church, but you have to preach the Gospel to those people who don’t know anything about God (1John 2:15).
(2) Believers must know how to approach the world. Non-Christians may not know all the terminology used in church, so Christians must talk to them in a way in which the message will be understood.
(3) The world needs the light of Christ. Believers must recognize that their assignment is to the world and that they must be willing to adjust their methods in order to bring the world into the knowledge of Him.
(4) The church should be the standard for the world in every area. Believers are co-creators with God. As a child of God, you can go to Him in prayer and He will give you original ideas so that He will get the glory.
i) Some people get tied to only their close circle of friends, or the people who love them back. You cannot love only the people who love you (Luke 6:32). You have to be willing to commit yourself to somebody else, no matter what. Use your gifts to strengthen and encourage others.
4) Untie yourself from the world.
a) If you can be committed to the ways of the world as listed above, then you can just as easily make a different choice and be committed to God.
b) Bind yourself to God to the point where nothing else matters except carrying out His will.
Romans 12:1,2 NLT “And so, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice--the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.”