Loving God Completely
To know God is to love Him, because the more we grasp—not merely in our minds but in our experience—who He is and what He has done for us, the more our hearts will respond in love and gratitude. “We love, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). When we discover that the personal author of time, space, matter, and energy has, for some incomprehensible reason, chosen to love us to the point of infinite sacrifice, we begin to embrace the unconditional security we longed for all our lives.
God's love for us is spontaneous, free, uncaused, and undeserved; He did not set His love on us because we were lovable, beautiful, or clever, because in our sin we were unlovable, ugly, and foolish. He loved us because He chose to love us. As we expand our vision of our acceptance and security in Christ who loved us and gave Himself for us, we begin to realize that God is not the enemy of our joy but the source of our joy. It is when we respond to this love that we become the people He has called us to be. By God's grace we need to grow in love with Him
As we grow to know and love God, we learn that we can trust His character, promises, and precepts. Whenever He asks us to avoid something, it is not because He is a cosmic killjoy, but because He knows that it is not in our best interests. And whenever He asks us to do something, it is always because it will lead to a greater good. If we are committed to following hard after God, we must do the things He tells us to do. But the risk of obedience is that it will often make no sense to us at the time. It is counter-cultural to obey the things the Holy Spirit reveals to us in the Scriptures. Radical obedience sometimes flies in the face of human logic, but it is in these times that our loving Father tests and reveals the quality of our trust and dependence on Him. If we love Jesus, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15); in fact, He taught us that obedience to His commands is the way we test and express our abiding relationship with Him (John 15:10). Our great task in the spiritual life is to will to do His will, to love the things He loves, and to choose the things He sets before us for our good.
Taken from Ken Boa’s Handbook to Spiritual Growth
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