Loving God For God’s Own Sake
By Aaron Mitchell
Have you ever witnessed something that was unrealized to the people involved? To the casual observer, it may have been missed. Have you ever witnessed a son or daughter of any age show unconditional love to a parent? You stood in awe because you knew the person didn’t deserve their love, but the child overflowed with love for them.
To change over to my own family for a minute, when my daughter gets mad at me all I have to do is smile real big and it seems to go away. Why? I am her Daddy. Where does that come from? We struggle in Christianity to teach the love of God. The love of God is great! Do you realize God the Father loves you with the same love He has for Jesus Himself (John 17:23)? It is important that we understand God’s love for us, but that is not where we are going today.
The question is, “How much do we love God?” God is deserving of our love, so you may think that to have unconditional love for God is not a hard thing. He is perfect! We can recite verses and talk about our need to love God, but what happens when we go through something difficult? We don’t understand why He allows heartache and pain into our lives. We don’t understand job loss or untimely sickness. We know God can stop it. Then He doesn’t. Yet He still loves me?
This week, no matter what you are going through at work, home, school or any other area of life, I want to challenge you to love God unconditionally. Someone challenged me in this way as a young pastor. We need to do all things unto the Lord. We want God to notice us. It is not about what people say about us; it is what God sees and thinks.
God is molding some of us to be like Stephen (Acts 6 and 7). Even though he was facing immediate death, he looked up and rested in the Lord. God is calling some of us to be like Jeremiah. Imagine if God gave you a message and the feeling of excitement you might have to preach that message. Now imagine that God has told you the people receiving the message will not only dislike this message but they will fight against you (Jeremiah 1:19). God is calling some to be like John. John stood in the wilderness shamelessly preaching a hard message, eating bugs and wearing camel’s hair (Mark 1:6). These people loved God. They didn’t just break away from political correctness for the sake of being politically incorrect, but they did their deeds for an audience of One.
So for those of us who love and follow Jesus already the question is, “Do I love God for God’s own sake? Do I praise Him and live it out in my life? Do I love Him just for being God, or is my love for God conditional based on how I feel He is allowing my life to go?
For those of you who haven’t decided to follow Jesus yet, I have a different challenge. I believe there are people who love Jesus who are able to endure hard things because they consistently love God. Their devotion to Jesus doesn’t seem to sway in wind. They are not perfect, but they are stable. They are committed to Him in hard times and in good times. In them, I believe you see a sense of peace, which is beyond understandable. God is able to work when we love God for God’s own sake. Trusting God and loving Him for Him will bring a blessing, but don’t do it for the blessing. Love Him for Him! For God gets all the praise, glory and honor. Find that person and observe how Jesus works in their life. Take a step of faith and ask them about their love for God.
See you next Monday!