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We often talk of loving God, but how often do we stop to think about what it actually means to love God?
In contemporary American culture and some parts of the church, the word love is identified with feeling or sentiment. It is therefore quite understandable that we should absorb this usage and think of loving God chiefly as a matter of feeling. But, as C.S. Lewis tells us, “nobody can always have devout feelings, and even if we could, feelings are not what God principally cares about.”1
“On the whole,” says Lewis, “God’s love for us is a much safer thing to think about than our love for him.”2 Love, “either toward God or toward man, is an affair of the will. If we are trying to do his will we are obeying the commandment ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.’ He will give us feelings of love if he pleases. We cannot create them for ourselves and we must not demand them as a right. But the great thing to remember is that though our feelings come and go, his love does not.”3
If we will meditate often upon God’s great love for us, especially as we see it in the cross of Christ, there will soon arise in our hearts an answering love that desires to please him and joyfully wills to do his will.