How can a Christ-follower fall even more deeply in love with God? Here are four ways I suggest that we can, and maybe you can add another.
Pouring Out Thanksgiving
Did you know that the only freewill offering in the Old Testament that was voluntary was that of thanksgiving to God (Lev. 22:29)? It makes sense. Why would God command an offering of thanksgiving? Would we feel the same if we were commanded to give thanks to God and not doing so voluntarily, out of a thankful heart? Surely, we have so much to be thankful for–our daily bread; His Word, the Bible; His daily provisions; our family; and, most of all, our salvation–because the Father placed His wrath on His sinless Son, which was what we deserved. He gave us the free gift of eternal life (Rom. 6:23) that we could have never earned in a billion lifetimes (Eph. 2:8-9). The thanksgiving offering was also called the “Fellowship Offering” (Lev. 7:12), which is interesting since after we’ve repented and trusted in Christ, we can have fellowship with Him (1 John 1:6-7).
Dwell on the Cross
If we had all been eyewitnesses to that day when Jesus died on the cross, I think our love for the Savior would be so much greater. We can still be there in our minds’ eyes. To hear Jesus say “Father, forgiven them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34) must have astounded those who heard Him. It is still incredible to me. Imagine Jesus asking God to forgive them for something as utterly terrible as what they did to Him. I can’t wrap my finite mind around such an amazing act of love. Jesus had earlier said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13), and that’s just what He did. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6), of whom I am chief among.
Abide in His Word
Jesus said in John 15:5, “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing,” and “nothing” is not a little something since we can’t even do anything apart from abiding in Christ. Jesus stated as fact, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). His Word is the Bible, and He is the Word (John 1:1, 14), so we should seek to abide in it. We know that the Gospel has the very power of God for salvation (Rom. 1:16), and He promises, “My word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). So you can fall deeper in love with God by falling deeper into His Word. It is a cause and effect principle.
Obey His Word
Jesus tied love in with obedience, as He said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15), for “whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me” (John 14:21). The truth is, “anyone who loves me will obey my teaching” (John 14:23). You cannot say you love God and not obey Him, and He does not live in those who don’t obey Him, as the Apostle John wrote, “The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us.” (1 John 3:24).
It’s really very simple to fall into a deeper love for God. All we must do is pour forth praise and thanksgiving to Him. We must contemplate the cross and what love this displayed for us. We must abide in Him, and that means abiding in His Word, the Bible. Finally, we must obey what we know Christ commands, for the love of God is displayed in doing what He commands.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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