Nuggets from “An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith” by Dave Hunt – Developing a Passion for God
If loving God with one’s whole being is the greatest commandment, then not to do so, as we have just seen, must be the greatest sin – indeed, the root of all sin. How is it, then, that loving God without which all else is but “sounding brass, or a tinkling symbol” (1 Corinthians:13:1), is not even found in the course listings of our theological seminaries? How can it be that this “first and greatest commandment” is so neglected in the church? The sad truth is that among today’s evangelicals it is not loving and esteeming God but self-love and self-esteem that are presented as the pressing need.
I speak to my own heart! At times I weep that, like Martha (Luke:10:38-42), in the busyness of serving Christ, I give so little thought or time to loving Him. Oh, to be more like Mary.
How does one learn to love God without ever having seen Him (John:1:18; 1 Timothy:6:16; 1 John:4:12, 20)? Obviously, there must be a reason for loving God – or anyone. Yes, reason and love do go together. Love must result from more than a physical attraction, which, in itself, can only arouse a fleshly response. In addition to the outward appeal, there are the inner beauties of personality, character, integrity, and, of course, the other’s love response. God loves without such reasons. Our love, even for Him, requires them. “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John:4:19).
Our heavenly Father loves even those who make themselves His enemies, those who defy Him, reject His laws, deny His existence, and would tear Him from His throne. Christ proved that love in going to the cross to pay the penalty for all, even asking the Father to forgive those who nailed Him there (Luke:23:34). Such is the love that the Christian, too, having experienced it for himself, is to manifest through Christ living in him: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew:5:44).