We’ve all had (or still have) people in our lives that are difficult to love. Either because they are mean-spirited, or unthankful, or ignorant, or crude, or greedy, or unjust or whatever else the case may be, we find ourselves wanting… not to serve them but to ignore them (or worse). Of course we know that we are to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44), it’s just that some folks press us to the limits in seeking to obey the second table of the law (Matthew 22:39) while others make it much easier.
But now what about when it comes to the first table of the law – to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength? Is God ever ‘unlovable’ or even difficult to love because of something that He is or is not? I think that every true believer already knows the answer to that question but please consider these words written by George W. Bethune in his commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism –
“We love that being whose character we approve, of whom we delight to think,
whose excellences we endeavor to imitate, whose wishes we desire to fulfill and in
whose favor we find happiness.
If intellectual excellence attracts our admiring regard, God is omniscient, the
author of all light and the source of all truth;
if moral beauty wins our affectionate esteem, His holiness, justice, goodness and mercy are infinite;
if favor received and favors expected claim our gratitude, from Him alone is our being with all of its capacities
of enjoyment and all we do or can enjoy;
if rightful authority administered in faithfulness and considerate kindness…
He is our Owner because He is our Creator, our Ruler because He is our Preserver,
our Law-giver because He is Supreme Lord of the universe whose precepts are our only sure guide to happiness.”
Without a doubt those are only a few of the attributes that belong to our God and yet even in considering that limited number, we should be struck by His supreme greatness… a greatness that should, in turn, cause to love Him all the more since He is in every way worthy of our love.
According to Romans 8:7 ‘the carnal mind is at enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be,’ and so those that remain dead in their sin, rejecting the Gospel of Jesus Christ can only hate God, along with His law which they have no desire to obey to His glory.
On the other hand, for those that have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and have been made new creatures in Christ, and have had their hearts/minds enlightened to the truth, how could they not love the One whose intelligence, moral beauty, divine favors, rightful authority and so forth are unsurpassed?
If you find your love for God waning (which we’re all guilty of at times), please spend more time considering His attributes, and please do so with the righteousness of Christ at the forefront of your mind since that will remind you of the reason why God’s love is yours.