555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

432. What Does "Loving God" Mean?

The duty and privilege of loving God become clear and simple when we think of Christ. Aside from him, the human conceptions of God are such that it is difficult to realize just what it would mean to love him. But friendship for Christ can be very real and precious. This is a definite part of God's whole wonderful plan. He came to earth in the person of Jesus and won just a few friends. These men and women loved him ardently. They loved him as a companion and friend. When he had gone away they loved him with the same definiteness and intensity and felt that he was still with them. Paul, who had never seen him in the flesh, loved him with just the same passion and fervor as did Peter and John, who had seen him. And all these early-Christians knew that in loving Jesus they were loving God. As Professor Herrmann of Marburg says: "In their minds all difference between Christ and God himself vanished." He was God; they knew it. And as they loved him and labored for him and went toward death for him, they knew that they were fulfilling the old command, that had been so strange and difficult before, to love the Lord their God with all their heart and with all their soul and with all their mind and with all their strength. This same experience is possible today for every believer. Christ can be to every one of us that ever present Friend in whose companionship we delight and for whom we live and should be willing to die.