But if any man love God, the same is known of him. (1 Corinthians 8.3)
How do we love God who is invisible? But he is seen in his works of creation, in his works of salvation, and also in our experience in the ongoing Christian life. We ‘see’ his sanctifying, enabling, comforting power, and the ever-flowing river of answers to our prayers. In his works, we see him.
How do we love God who is untouchable? But he is touchable by prayer. Pray little, and we touch God so little. Pray much, and we touch him much.
How do we love God who is unhearable? But we do hear him in his Word. Read much, and we hear him much.
In what manner should we love God? Love his perfections; learn and love his attributes. His power never fails. His glory is never dimmed. Do not allow it to be dimmed in our hearts and minds. If a church has truth but the worship is casual, informal, flippant and trivial, find another church where the altogether glorious God is worshipped, sought and sensed.
God’s kindness never wanes, and we trust it wholly. His mercy is never denied. However low we fall, we come to him for pardon and restoration and it is never withheld. His faithfulness is never withdrawn, and he will never let us down.
Think of the unusual ways of God, quite different from the world. The world rewards achievements, but the Lord lifts up the downcast. He draws to himself the poor and needy. He makes our strength perfect in weakness. When we are crushed, he lifts us up. When we are shorn of confidence, he invigorates us. We love him because of his unique ways.
Love the Lord’s commandments. They are certainly not irksome. Scripture tells us: ‘Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.’ They bless us, liberate us, safeguard us, and lead us to happiness and communion with God himself.
Love the Ten Commandments; love the ‘lesser’ commandments in the books of Moses that explain the Ten Commandments. Love the refined ethics of those commandments, expounded in the New Testament. All these standards are profound and wonderful; they are the gates to depths and pleasures untold.
The more we love God, the less we love ourselves. The more we love him, the more we obey him and serve him. The more we love him, the more and the better we praise him, and look for our Saviour’s return.
Love God by trust. When we are at our wit’s end, and all we can do is pray and trust him, that is the highest act of love.
Love him by reflection, thinking of all our blessings; all the answers to prayer, and all his goodness.
Love the Lord by sacrifice. Every time we commit our time, energy and substance to the Lord, we express love for him, for sacrifice is a willing act of great love. Love him by all these things.
Look also at the promise, ‘If any man love God, the same is known of him.’ God will acknowledge us; God will bless us; God will infuse love into us; God will do wonderful things. He will give insight, wisdom, strength and instrumentality, but also great assurance.
From a sermon preached at the Tabernacle by Dr Masters on 24th April 2022