Loving God and Keeping His Words

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart” (Deut. 6:5-6).

Love from the heart may sound like the theme of a Valentine’s Day card, but there is much more for us to consider in such a phrase. It is the expression of love, the authentic and tangible reality of love, in focus here. After all, God directly follows His command to love Him with a command to intimately know and apply His words.

What does it mean for any human to love God? It may mean more, but it certainly means no less than giving God – especially His words – attention and affection. Don’t we listen carefully to the wise words of a loving friend? Don’t we read kind and thoughtful notes from our spouse with great care? In the absence of someone’s presence, we cherish and attend their words. However, God is present with us in and through His words.

God’s words are more than mere instructions; His words are life-giving, healing, invigorating, and enlightening. God’s words are perfect, sure, right, and true; they are clean, pure, desirable, and rewarding (Ps. 19). In God’s words, we may find God Himself (Jn. 1:14-18), and we may gain the great joy of genuine love for the God who made and sustains us by His word (Heb. 1:1-3).

The Unique & Priceless Word

“With my whole heart I seek you, [God]; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:10–11).

It seems that most Christians already believe the Bible is the word of God. They understand that God has revealed Himself through human means in the form of this written word. This sets the Bible in a unique category, to be sure, but it also seems that many of those same Christians who think so highly of the Bible also treasure it very little.

The psalmist’s prayer exposes a common laziness among Christians in America today. The psalmist seeks God “with his whole heart” and “stores up God’s word in his heart.” Such religious devotion is foreign to most modern Western Christians, and it is often viewed as legalistic. And yet, this reverent commitment is the basic approach to godly growth throughout the Bible and Church history.

Those exemplary believers in the Bible and those spiritual giants of history all had a deep appreciation for God’s word, and they showed it by their devotion to it. Christians today would do well to follow the model set before us. The Bible is truly God’s word, and as such, it deserves our utmost attention and effort.

May God give us a hunger for His word, and may we be deeply satisfied by the bounty.