Out of all the things we should be doing in this world (evangelism, discipleship, giving, serving, etc) I find it curious that there is really only one activity that God wants from us. “But wait,” I hear you cry, “isn’t the Old Testament filled with rules and regulations? What about all those commands!” Ah yes, the Torah, the Mosaic Covenant, the Big Ten (along with its 600+ additional commands); while it is wonderful that we spend time studying the Old Testament to learn more about God in the end there is still only one command that we should be seeking to follow. In fact Jesus summed it up nicely for us in Mark 12:30-31,

[30] And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ [31] The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

That’s it! Out of all the commands that we could be following in this life the greatest is to love God and love people. Simple right? Yet the question that each of us must ask ourselves from time to time is, “Do I love God?”

While it might sound like a simple question to answer lets be honest with ourselves for a moment and take a good look at our lives. When was the last time we spend any significant time in his Word? Today? Yesterday? Last week? Last year? The Scriptures are God’s way of communicating with us, and the more welisten to what he has to say the more we will get to know him, and the more we will love him. That’s a funny concept right? Let’s look at it from a human perspective.

My wife and I have been married for almost thirteen years now (had to think about that one!) and there is no doubt in my mind that I know her better now than I did when we first were married. As the years have gone by I’ve been able to learn about her childhood and growing up, about her likes and dislikes (likes sweets, hates feet), and a myriad of other little things along the way. As I’ve grown closer to her by spending time with her and getting to know her I can say without a doubt that I love her more today than I did when we were first married. That’s the same with our relationship with God. Theology is not some dusty tome reading, gray beard growing, profession. Theology is the study of Godfor the purpose of knowing him better and so loving him more!

In a recent reading I came across this wonderful quote that I’ll close with for today (next post will be about the second part of this amazing command) from Bernard of Clairvaux, take some time and think about your relationship with God and ask yourself if you truly love him.

“You ask me, ‘Why should God be loved?’ I answer: the reason for loving God is God himself. And why should God be loved for his own sake? Simply because no one could be more justly loved than God, no one deserves our love more. Some may question if God deserves our love or if they might have something to gain by loving him. The answer to both questions is yes, but I find no other worthy reason for loving him except himself.”