Nuggets from “An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith” by Dave Hunt – But How May We Love Him?
To love God with our whole heart and our neighbors as ourselves is not something we can produce by self-effort. Love for our fellows must be the expression of God’s love in our hearts; nor can we love God except by coming to know Him as He is. A false god won’t do. No one can love the “12-Step God-as-you-conceive-Him-to-be.” That would be like loving some imaginary person. To know the true God is to love Him; and to know Him better is to love Him all the more.
Most of us have an all-too-shallow knowledge of God. Nor can our love for God grow except from a deepening appreciation of His love for us – an appreciation that must include two extremes: 1) God’s infinite greatness; and 2) our sinful, wretched unworthiness. That He, who is so high and holy, would stoop so low to redeem unworthy sinners supremely reveals and demonstrates His love. Such an understanding is the basis of our love and gratitude in return and will be the unchanging theme of our praise throughout all eternity in His glorious presence (Revelation:5:8-14).
There can be no doubt that the clearer one’s vision of God becomes, the more unworthy one feels, and thus the more grateful for His grace and love. Such has always been the testimony of men and women of God. Job cried out to God, “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor [hate] myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job:42:5,6). Isaiah likewise lamented, “Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah:6:5).
Such recognition of their sin and unworthiness did not decrease but enhanced the saints’ love for God and appreciation of His grace. The more clearly we see the infinite chasm between God’s glory and our sinful falling short thereof (Romans:3:23), the greater will be our appreciation of His grace and love in bridging that gulf to redeem us. And the greater our appreciation of His love for us, the greater will be our love for Him.
There is no joy that can compare to that of love exchanged. Nor is there any sorrow so deep as that of love spurned or ignored. How it must grieve our Lord that His redeemed ones love Him so little in return. That grief comes through in Scripture passages such as these: “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me” (Isaiah:1:2). “Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number” (Jeremiah:2:32).