By Dan Goddard


If we love God with all of our heart, mind, and soul, we can not avoid expressing to Him our love.  We all, at one time or another, may ask: “How do I tell God I love Him?”  Words seem so insignificant because they are cheap—they have no cost.  To people, we give gifts.  But who has a gift for God?  Does he not own all things—including the people of His creation?  What can I give God that is not already His?

We can tell God that we love Him in prayer and song in which we praise Him, worship Him, and ask His favor.  But that is not where the expression of love ends.  Even with the people we love and the people who love us, we associate love with acts of love.

For example, a man may say he loves his wife, but he beats her to a pulp. Does he love her?  He may say he loves her with words, but his actions say that he hates her.  I may also tell my children I love them.  But if I spend their food money on personal pleasure, do I love them or have I spoken lies?  I may tell you that I love my dog.  But if I kick my dog every time I pass, do I love him or hate him?

We express our love to others by our behavior (actions) in addition to words.  The same is true regarding our love for God.  John records Jesus teaching hours before His death saying, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).  Upon this statement, we conclude that the opposite is also true.  If we do not love Jesus, we do not keep His commandments.  Therefore, by keeping Jesus’ commands we tell Him we love Him, and by not keeping His commands we tell Him we do not love Him.

In 1 John 5:3 we read: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.  And His commandments are not burdensome.”  If we love God we will keep His commands by keeping God’s commands we tell Him we love Him, and by not keeping His commands we tell Him we do not love him.

Since we express our love to God by keeping His commands in addition to spoken words, this sets forth another obligation for those who love God—to learn of His commands.  How can I say I love God and therefore desire to keep His commands, if I do not put forth a concerted effort to learn His commands through study of His word?  If I tell God in prayer I love Him and desire to keep His commands but spend little time in study, do I really love Him?  Do I love God with all my heart, mind, and soul, or am I putting on a facade constructed of ignorance through deliberate neglect?

In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Paul says: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  Now if we love God, to keep His commands, we must turn to His word, learn of His commands, and set forth in the doing of His commands.  If not, we can not say: “God, I love you” since we have neglected His equipping of doctrine, reproof, and instruction.  To say with words, “I love God” but not study His word, is like a man who says “I love my kids” but never puts food in their mouth—even if he has to beg, a man can feed his family.

Paul writes to the Romans concerning their devotion and obedience to God.  Although not specifically addressing his remarks within the context of love until chapter thirteen, Paul says in Romans 12:1-2: “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”