Purpose changes the game in whatever you do in life. On Sunday, we proved this point by blending up a deluxe-package breakfast into a smoothie (eggs, sausage, pancakes, and syrup), and offering it to a group of middle schoolers. No takers. Once we put $10 on the line, however, several hands reached towards the heavens to volunteer, and one brave 6th grader took down the disgusting breakfast drink (and took home ten bucks). When I asked how many would’ve done it for $100, every hand in the room went up. If you have the right motivation, it’ll change the game, and this certainly applies to having a close relationship with God. To simply say God deserves your love wouldn’t be a very compelling reason to actually go and do it. And if faith is found on fleeting emotion or faith of another, we’ll truly struggle to love God with all that we have. But if we understand the reasons why God deserves our love, it’ll motivate a genuine desire to love Him and make Him your everything. Why should we love God? (Part III)
This week, we find motivating purpose to love God from the book of Deuteronomy, which features Moses chatting with Israel. These people had been enslaved in Egypt, but God had compassion on them and rescued them. It wasn’t long after deliverance that they were complaining about their circumstance and forgotten all that God had done for them. Moses called the next generation of Israel to remain faithful to God, and reminded them of God’s continued faithfulness, despite the rebelliousness of previous generations. In Deuteronomy 7:7-8, Moses said,
The Lord did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath He swore to your ancestors that He brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Moses reminds them of what God had done and says that God rescued them from slavery for two big reasons. For one, God rescued them simply because He loved them. It wasn’t because they were a great nation or that they did anything to deserve salvation, He just loved them. God also saved them to keep His promise. In Genesis 12, God promised Abraham that He would bless his family and bless the entire world through his family. God was proving here, and time and time again, that He is good on His promises.
Moses continues… Deut. 7:9,
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.
Why should we love God? Because He is faithful to keep His promises. God is God and is faithful at keeping His promises. We may struggle with keeping a juicy secret, even if we promised to not spill the beans - but this is not a struggle for God. He is a master promise keeper, despite our own unfaithfulness. What promises does He have for us, that He is so willing to keep? Here’s three big ones out of the hundreds…
God promises to love you no matter what. Romans 8:39 says there’s nothing that can separate you from God’s love. Let that sink in. There’s nothing you could do and no circumstance that could ever cause God to not love you. When you feel unlovable, friends leave you by the ditch, like you can do no good and no one likes you — God promises to love you continually.
A lie that we may sometimes be deceived by is that when you fail over and over and drift super far from God, that He won’t want anything to do with you. If that thought creeps in, trust God’s faithfulness in the promise found in 1 John 1:9 — if you simply confess your sins, God will forgive you. The power of this promise is profound. If someone wronged you once, you’ll forgive them (hopefully). If that person wrongs you another 10 times, you’ll be annoyed, but will hopefully still forgive them. If that person wrongs you 10,000 times, human nature says you’re done! We do things that are uncool in God’s eyes on a daily basis, and daily He is eager to offer grace and extend mercy.
Another powerful promise, found in Romans 8:28, is that God will work all things for the good of those who love Him. This is nice. It sounds great, we love this one, right? But once you’ve gone through deep struggle or loss, this promise actually becomes a wrestling match — how could that situation possibly be worked out for good?! But if we know and trust in God’s faithfulness, it’s in a promise like this that we’re given hope - that can be power that carries you through the darkest of valleys…
Let the truth of these promises really sink in… God promises to love you in every situation, every up and down, and He always wants what is best for you! Trusting that God is faithful to keep His promises to you, how could you not respond in love?
Want to read more of God’s promises? Here’s a quick list of some promises to look up, read, find comfort and direction in: Exodus 14:14, Deuteronomy 31:8, Psalm 23:4, Psalm 37:4, Psalm 50:15, Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 40:29, Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 43:2, Matthew 6:31-33, Mark 11:24, John 3:36, John 14:13-16, Romans 10:9-10, Ephesians 3:16-19, Philippians 4:6-7, Philippians 4:19, James 1:5, James 4:7, Revelation 3:5