Do You Love God?
"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10).
The promise of Romans 8:28 that "all things work together for good" is only given to "them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Do you love God?
By nature, no one loves God. We are all born in sin, we practice sin and are spiritually dead before God. Instead of loving God, we are His enemy (Romans 5:10) haters of God (Romans 1:30), and walk "according to [Satan] the prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2). Instead of loving God, we love ourselves (2 Timothy 3:2), we love our sins (Romans 1:28-32), and we love pleasures more than God (2 Timothy 3:5). Such is the condition of every person born into the world. This is not a pretty picture, and we may not like it, but it is the truth of God's Word as to our lost and ruined condition before the God to whom we must give account.
Though we don't love God, "He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." This means that God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer the punishment we deserve for our sins as He hung on Calvary's cross. Being sinless, He alone was able to provide a sacrifice acceptable to God. God did accept Christ's death in payment of our sins in that He raised Him from the dead. "God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Oh what love God has for us—for you and for me!
Jesus said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" (Matthew 22:37). Now the question remains—how can a sinner love God? The answer is clear and plain. Believe with all your heart that you "have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) and that Christ "bore your sins in His own body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24). By trusting Christ as your personal Saviour, you have the assurance from the God who loves you, "that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). The believer in Christ will then be able to say, "Yes, I love God," because "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5). You will love Him as One who saved you from the burning fires of hell. You will have a divine nature with new desires, including love for God, love for God's Word and love for God's people.