The Root of the Problem (Part 19): Lack of Love for God

The Root of the Problem (Part 19): Lack of Love for God

If we are to put away sin from our lives, we would do well to remember what Jesus describes as the greatest commandment.

And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).

It is essential that we love God. But it must be a real love – something that goes beyond mere emotion or appreciation. Loving God should lead us to obedience.

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15).

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).

If love for God leads to obedience, then it naturally follows that a lack of love for God leads to disobedience. Failing to give up sin, therefore, indicates that we do not truly love God as we should.

Why We Should Love God

The Scriptures give us several reasons why we should love God. The most fundamental has to do with God’s character. As John tells us, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Because His very nature is love, He has done several things to express His love toward us. As our love for God should be demonstrated by our actions, His love for us has been demonstrated by His actions. The things that God has done for us should cause us to grow in love for Him.

The first thing we can notice is that God created us and provided every good thing for us in His creation.

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17).

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” (James 1:17).

God, through His power and His love has created a world in which we can survive. From generation to generation, mankind has been able to prosper through God’s providential care. This providence is even extended to those who reject God and rebel against Him. This alone shows His love for man. But He has done far more than this.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:4-8).

Because of His great love, God is willing to take those who are dead in sin and make them alive in Christ. It is through His grace that He saves us. This grace is not unconditional as many in the denominational world will teach. Yet even though we may meet His conditions of grace, no one is able to claim that they deserve salvation. Why? We have each sinned (Romans 3:23). This means we deserve death (Romans 6:23). Yet God offers us life through His Son.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

The salvation that God offers came with a price. He had to be willing to see His only begotten Son suffer on the cross. Jesus had to be willing to lay down His life for us. This sacrifice was made when we were still sinners – totally undeserving of any hope of salvation. But God is a God of love and wants us to be saved.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him” (1 John 3:1).

His love not only allows us to be saved, but it also allows us to have a special relationship with Him. We have become His children. He wants us to be with Him, not just for this life, but for eternity.

But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7).

God has plainly and powerfully demonstrated His love for us. Yet many Christians seem unwilling to work toward putting away sin from their lives. Continuing to sin, after becoming a Christian, is an insult to God.

For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:26-29).

Many people will say that they love God. But John says, “Let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18). Claiming to love God, without the deeds to back it up, is meaningless.

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15).

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).

If we love God, we must obey Him. Therefore, we must also give up sin (disobedience). John says His commandments are “not burdensome” – we can do it. But we must love Him enough that we are willing to do so.

Summary

When you sin against God, it is because you do not love Him as you should. Loving God should naturally result in your obedience to God. Therefore, to overcome sin, you must grow in your love for God. One helpful way to do this is to remember all that God has done to demonstrate His love toward you. You, then, need to show your love for Him – not merely in words, but also in deeds.


This material is taken from the book, The Root of the Problem: Why We Sin & How We Can Overcome, published by Gospel Armory, © 2010.