Jesus Shows Us How to Love God (Part One)


Jesus shows us how to love God the way he deserves to be loved. While we are not Jesus and cannot love God perfectly, we have been left with some strong indicators of how we are to try to live.

For me, learning how to love God involves commitment, priority, openness, availability, , and obedience. To live this way I must look to Jesus as my model for knowing how to love the Father. My daily strength to do this comes from the Holy Spirit. I want to use these words to illustrate how Jesus teaches us to love the Father.

Commitment. Jesus’ entire earthly life duplicated his heavenly existence before he came to earth to save us. He was one with the Father and committed to the task before him. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.”

Jesus completely committed himself, bought into the purpose for which God sent him. He was sent to die for us and as Paul writes in Philippians 2:8, he submitted himself to death on the cross. “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient unto death, even death on a cross.”

To love God to the best of our ability we must be committed to what God is about in his desire to save all people. Are you committed to God’s purpose to see people accept Christ as Savior?

Do you seek opportunities to share Jesus’ story through your conversations, money and time? Loving God begins with understanding God and what he wants, and committing yourself to allow the Holy Spirit to empower you to live your life for him. This means that whatever God is about, I am to be about. His work is my work.

Priority. God expects us to give him priority in our life; our affections, time, and possessions. The first of the Ten Commandmwnts is about putting anything in God’s place in our lives.  “You shall have no other gods before me.” An idol or god is anything or anyone that we put above God. God wants and deserves priority in our lives; priority means superiority.

I love the Lord but I sometimes run into trouble by not giving God the “first-place” love he deserves. In my book Heaven’s Currency I reference Augustine about the mixed-up order of the way we may love; we love God but he is not first. The gist of his comments is that we often have the objects of our love in the wrong order. We love God but he is not given priority. It is not wrong to love our spouse, children, job, etc. The issue is that we don’t give God priority in our love, and that is idolatry.

Jesus is the perfect example of how to love God above all else. At age twelve, he explained to his frantic parents who returned to Jerusalem and found him at the temple, “I must be about my Father’s work.” (Luke 2:49). Jesus always gave priority to his heavenly Father.

In his final hours he struggled with the impending reality that his death on the cross would plunge him into the black hell of separation from the Father. The penalty of all the sins of all humanity would be upon him and his fellowship with God would be broken. He knew this, he agonized, he sweat blood over this horrible reality he was about to face. His death was God’s plan. What did he do? For my salvation and yours, he gave God priority. Read it for yourself in Luke 22:40-44. His love for the Father and for us gave voice to his prayer, “Not my will but yours be done.” 

Availability. Isaiah 6 tells how Isaiah had a vision of the Almighty in the temple at Jerusalem. The awesomeness and holiness of God overwhelmed the young man and made him aware of his sinfulness, his moral bankruptcy. He confessed as much before God, “Woe is me, I am ruined!  I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts.” At this God took his guilt away and Isaiah’s eyes were opened to the needs of others.

Then God asks this question of the young convert, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?” There’s something about being saved, that “first love” of God that makes us want to share our good news with others. This is how Isaiah responded to God’s invitation, “Here am I, send me.”

The scriptures tell us that Jesus came to “seek and to save that which is lost.” He was totally available to his Father, always ready to heal, encourage, teach, have mercy and compassion on the needy, feed the hungry, and to even die for our sake. His life was put at the disposal of the Father. That’s what’s loving God supremely involves. We become available to God and nothing is held back; our very life, our time, and money are at his disposal. We belong to him and everything we have belongs to him.

I challenge you to pray this prayer with me at the beginning of every day, “Lord, I’m available. Let me live for you in a way that will draw others to Jesus.”

We will finish this idea of how Jesus teaches us to love God with a couple more ideas in the next post. Thanks for reading.

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