Loving God

“Mama, I miss you! Mama, I need you!”

My 2-year-old’s creative attempts to boycott naptime pull on the heartstrings. She’s yelling from her crib. I’ve fallen for it before – her sweet cries luring me to her bedside rescue. If I pick her up, she doesn’t need me (or comforting) – she “needs” what she wants and knows I can give her – escape. If I aid her in this escape, she’ll act loving and cuddly for about a second and run off to play or do what she pleases, leaving us both to suffer the consequence of crankiness when her energy runs out sometime during the dinner hour.

I know my sweet girl loves me and needs me. But I’ve seen through her “using” scheme. J And I know what she really needs is a nap!

I’m smirking in my living room – until the thought hits me – I am just like my 2-year-old. I scream and whine, telling the Lord how desperately I need him. I tell him I love Him and miss Him– like Kaya. Do I really just want what he can do for me? Certainly I do need what he can do and has done for me! I am so thankful for salvation, redemption, and the gift of life! But as I search my heart, I am challenged. Do I love the Lord? Do I love him after my real or perceived needs are met? How do I know that I truly love him?

In Revelation 2, the Lord gives high praise to the church of Ephesus, and follows it with a strong rebuke. “I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.” (Revelation 2:4-5 ESV) It is noteworthy here that love is tied to works. He doesn’t insist that they start to feel warm and fuzzy inside about how sweet he is! Their love is shown by what they do. Jesus gave us the same “litmus test” to know whether or not we truly love him when he said, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.” (John 14:21) 

If we truly love the Lord with our whole hearts, our lives will be marked by obedience to his commands. “Be very careful…to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments and to cling to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Joshua 22:5) Lord, let it be so in me!

jc

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