March 26, 2012

Loving God

Mark 12:28-34

“Love the Lord your God … .”
—Mark 12:30


Jesus taught that loving God is the greatest commandment, and that the second greatest command is to love our neighbor as ourself.

Then one of the greatest questions must be “What is love?” In 1 Corinthians 13 we find a beautiful answer. Paul’s words in that chapter guide our understanding of love on the basis of God’s love for us. And we can apply that to our love for God as well as for our neighbor.

Are we ever impatient with God? Are we unkind to God? Do we envy God in any way? Are we ever boastful, taking credit for what God enables us to do?

Are we rude to God? Are we self-seeking, forgetting to love God first? Are we easily angered by God? Do we keep a mental record of the ways we think God has wronged us? Do we delight secretly in evil that breaks God’s heart? Or do we trust, hope, and persevere in doing what is right, to honor God? (See 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.)

How much we have to grow in love! Remember, though, that God first loved us. He is infinitely patient and eternally kind. And God’s love “never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8).

Lent is a good time to examine our love—for God as well as others—and to thank God for his love.

Lord, we confess that we often fall short of showing your love—to you as well as others. Forgive us, and help us to love the way you do. Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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