Week 88 – Loving God
(The Sabbath Challenge)
Can I keep Sabbath without loving God?
I’ve often heard people describe the Ten Commandments as having two parts- those that connect us with God (the first four) and those that connect us with others (the last six). Matthew 22:37-40
The two parts build upon each other. If I don’t love God with all my heart, soul and mind, then it is very hard to love my neighbor as myself.
The first four commandments ask me to love God above all else.
1. Don’t worship anyone but God.
2. Don’t make anything into a god to worship.
3. Treat God’s name with the utmost respect.
4. Set aside God’s holy day to spend time with Him.
Each of the first four commandments challenge me to examine what authority God has on my life. Do I give Him first place, second place, third place? Is He in control all of the time, some of the time, rarely? I find that love is the driving force behind the answer to these questions.
Love is a critical and essential part of my relationship with God. If I don’t love God, I won’t have much desire to keep any of these commandments. And it is hard for me to love God as I should when I haven’t taken the time to know Him or practiced putting my trust in Him. I must have a personal relationship with God.
One of the purposes of keeping Sabbath is to work on knowing God better so I can develop a personal relationship with Him. It puts me in mind of being engaged to be married. When I was engaged, I knew I loved my fiancé (now husband) with all my heart and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I desired to be with him as much as possible, so it wasn’t hard to devote one day to spend solely with him.
On the other hand, when I am not crazy about a particular person, I’m not likely to go out of my way to spend time with them. A whole day would feel a bit burdensome.
Compared to being engaged, I have to ask myself how I feel about spending time with God on Sabbath. Do I anticipate it with much joy? If not, why? I conclude that if I don’t know and trust God, then I don’t really love Him or desire to follow Him.
I believe that I can try to keep Sabbath without having a true love for God. I may get some sleep and relaxation, but I will miss out on the true Sabbath experience that God intended. Loving God=A Blessed Sabbath!
Until next week,