Matthew's Pictures

April 6, 2009

My Love for God

I have been studying the Bible and spending a lot of time speaking to the Lord since being home after Matthew. I can't even express in words the depth of how much my relationship with God has changed. Just amazing. In turn, our home life has improved and become more structured and loving and focused on God! I was missing out on so much!

Are you growing in your love for God? I want to share a bit on our love for God that I have read about. After reading this, it was very pleasing to know that I could honestly say "yes" to every point. My personal thoughts and experiences are included. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I did learning about it.

John 21:15-17

After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?"
"Yes, Lord," Peter said,"you know I love you."
"Then feed my lambs," Jesus told him.
Jesus repeated the question: "Simon son of John, do you love me?"
"Yes, Lord, " Peter said, "You know I love you."
"Then take care of my sheep,"Jesus said.
A third time he asked him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?"
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, "Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Then feed my sheep."

Peter knew that he had let Jesus down when he denied him three times before the Crucifixion. But Peter also knew that Jesus had forgiven him. Jesus tested Peter by asking him "Do you love me?" three times.
In the original language of this text, Peter's response to Jesus' questions has great significance. When Jesus posed the questions, he had basically asked, "Peter, do you love me with a sacrificial, committed love?" But Peter responded with a different word for love. Peter essentially said, "Lord, I like you. I love you as a friend."
Atleast Peter was honest. He told Jesus the truth about his committment. Interestingly enough, Jesus still enlisted Peter in his service, to care for his sheep. Jesus wanted Peter to affirm his devotion before giving him direction for ministry. As this story implies, we must love God before we can serve him faithfully.

Here are five ways to tell if you really love God:

1. You will long for personal Communion with Him.
"As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God." Psalm 42:1
When you really love God, you will delight in praise and worshipping him because your heart will overflow with love for God. This love will cause you to look forward to spending time with Him and his people.

I usually spend atleast an hour a day in reading. Josh and I just started two different studies. One focuses on couples, and the other focuses on raising your children to love God. So good so far! After the kids go to sleep in their beds (yay, finally!) we have that time to ourselves to communicate and do devotionals.

2. You will love the things He loves.
We know what God loves by what He has declared in the Bible. So if you love God, you will love His Word!

And I do! I remember not long ago when reading the Bible would have been more like a chore. I saved it for church only. Now I have to have my daily dose, and often have a hard time puttng it down. Like one of those great novels I used to read and finish in five days. I just don't want to put it down! Now that I understand God's love better, it has more meaning.

3. You will hate what He hates.
As the Lord's nature becomes your nature, his likes and dislikes will become your likes and dislikes. His outlook becomes your outlook. We know from his Word that he hates sin. If we love him, then we should also hate sin.

So true. My personal example. I have always been the type of person that takes a while to forgive someone. I can stay mad and you may never know why (my poor hubby). I have learned how important is to forgive, just as Jesus told God to forgive those who crucified him.

4. You will long for His return.
Jesus described himself as a bridegroom(Mark 2:19). His bride is the church- the body of believers (Ephesians 5:23-29). When Jesus returns, he will be united with his bride. Therefore, if you love the Lord, you will long for his return as a bride longs for her bridegroom.

I know I am going to Heaven! I suppose if I didn't know, I may not look forward to His return so much. Heaven will be more than we can imagine and I look forward to what that amazing life will be like!

5. You will keep His commandments.
Jesus says, "If you love me, obey my commandments" (John 14:15) Though it is impossible for any of us who loves God to go on an endless course of sin, we will still occassionally fall into individual sins. But if we love God, we will repent of those sins and seek his forgiveness, and his lifestyle will conform to the truths we find in His Word.

Giving our son, Matthew, life when the doctors pushed us to take it away! The Lord created our son for a reason, and we wanted obey His plan. We would have had it no other way.


carebear said...

Yay, persistence pays off and I can comment now. ;)
I'm so glad Matthew has helped strengthen your relationship to our Father. I just tear up thinking how happy that must make your sweet little boy, as he watches the love and joy on God's face for your family. You are such an amazing mom and christian. What a role model. Love and hugs to you. :)

Kelly said...

WOW!! I REALLY needed this blog - I felt like you wrote this just for me...I have been in a rut lately - not proud to admit that, but it is the truth. Like you mentioned..only reading his Word on Sundays, at church, etc. I have to wake myself back up to the Lord. Snap out of it! Thank you for blogging about truly helped me! Hugs and love hun..

You are in my prayers...

Chelsea Pang said...

What an important reminder to cherish time with Lord and seek constantly His presence. Yes, your Matthew has a legacy and an impact on this earth beyond his life!

Stephanie said...

This is great. I can honestly say I am straight up on 3 of 5 of those things. But there are still 2 that I need to get my butt into gear on. I am so happy that you have taken the best route after loosing Matthew. So many ppl turn to negative un godly things. You truly inspire me, you always have. Thank you


Keri said...

This was beautiful. Thank you for sharing.