What it means to love God

Loving God, Zondervan (1983), 320pp

Charles Colson’s classic, Loving God, has engaged my attention over the past few days. Written nearly 40 years ago, it still hits with such a force as though just penned some months ago.

Loving God is something every Christian claims to do or at least aspires to consistently do, yet we seldom understand what it really means. We often have a dreamy or sentimental notion about it.

We imagine it’s about merely singing hymns of praise, offering up devout prayers, or giving of tithes and offerings in our church. And it might seem like an activity that takes place for a few hours every Sunday.

However, when we look into God’s word and dig into the experiences, lives, and ministries of the numerous individuals who have confessed the name ‘Christian’ throughout history, a different picture emerges. We find that loving God is hard to define.

It is a complicated life involving dying and living, crying and rejoicing, trusting and despairing, obeying and wondering, believing and repenting. It is a journey that God himself takes us through, with the help of the Holy Spirit, as we come to terms with the reality of the new birth. It engages every aspect of our lives, be it parenting, work, recreation, relationships, as we seek to live to the One who calls us totally to himself.

In sum, loving God is that Spirit-led flowing of our lives by which we believe, repent, obey, become holier, bind up the brokenhearted, and also serve others.

Nothing less than this.

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