Loving God – I Corinthians 8:3

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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Many people have silly standards by which they decide whether someone loves them. As children, many of us plucked petals from a flower saying, “He loves me, he loves me not” and hoped for the right answer. Cher once sang a song saying, “How will I know if he really loves me…” concluding “…it’s in his kiss.” But how do we Christians determine love? We know that God loves us because “…while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). But what about whether or not we truly love the Lord? I Corinthians 8:3 says, “But if any man [or woman] love God; the same is know of Him.” But how would we, or others, know if we really love the Lord?

Let’s begin by realizing that God greatly desires that we freely give Him our love. He instructed Israel: “…what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to…love Him…” even to “…love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 10:12; 13:3). Dozens of passages in the Old Testament repeat this command. Then the Savior quotes these verses, calling this “the great [or greatest] commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38). God’s desire is the same for us in the Dispensation of Grace. The Apostle Paul encouraged the saints to grow in their love for the Lord saying, “Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity…” (Ephesians 6:24). We don’t have to rely on the standards of the world, or fickle emotions, to know if we really love our Lord. The Savior told His apostles: “If ye love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Love always demonstrates itself! One’s love for the Lord is demonstrated through willing obedience to the will of God. David said, “Ye that love the Lord, hate evil…” (Psalm 97:10). Loving Him means hating what He hates. Paul implies two standards for those who truly love the Lord. We will seek to edify other believers rather than acting puffed up against them. And we will be careful not to become a “stumbling block to them that are weak” (I Corinthians 8:1-13). In other words, if we really love the Lord, it will manifest itself in our demonstration of love for other Christians.

Pause for a moment to ask yourself: “Is it known of me that I truly love the Lord?” Let that question motivate you today to zealously love your Savior and demonstrate love to others who also know His salvation.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."