Intersection of Life and Faith

How Can We Love God with All Our Hearts?

  • Anne Peterson Poet and Author
How Can We Love God with All Our Hearts?

Remember the first time you knew you loved someone? Maybe you were only a kid, but it didn’t matter. All you could think of was that special person. You pictured him or her all the time. And when you did think of them, you were so happy.

Love is a decision. One day we learned about God’s love. Maybe you were young or maybe you were older. But once you learned how much he loved you, the whole world looked better. But what does loving God really look like?

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  • 1. Read his love letter.

    1. Read his love letter.

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    When we first fell in love with someone, we wanted to know everything about them. What they liked, what they hated, everything. And we can do the same thing with God. We can study the love letter he wrote us, and in doing so, we will learn all about his character. Reading about creation, we can learn how he is the master creator and how he created the world in seven days. 

    But not only did he create the world, he created us. Read Psalm 139:13-18. He knows our thoughts! That is someone who really cares about us. I love reading about how he made me in my mother’s womb. Whenever I feel like complaining about some aspect of myself, I picture God busy putting finishing touches on me. And I have to stop and realize he loves me completely. Suddenly the things I’m not happy about become less important as I think that God who made the stars also made me... every part of me.

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  • 1. Read his love letter.

    2. Take a walk.

    Slide 2 of 9

    Every day I try to get outside to observe God’s handiwork. Genesis 1:1 it tells us who made it all. I look all around at all the plants and trees as I walk. Read Genesis 1:29. Again, the master creator made it all. The other day I couldn’t believe it; I saw two little fawns, oblivious to me. They frolicked and played so carefree in the grass. I felt joy as I watched these precious creatures. I walked a little further and noticed a couple of bunnies, their little white tales wiggling as they scampered away. And all the time I heard the birds talking to each other. Every tree, every leaf, every beautiful part of nature was handmade by our creator.

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  • 1. Read his love letter.

    3. Look at the stars.

    Slide 3 of 9

    Read Psalm 8:3-6. Last night I went to the garage but something made me look up. And there above me was a host of stars. Just the thought of God hanging the stars in place is enough to make my heart beat faster. There are millions of stars and my Father knows all their names. And when I look at the moon in all its brilliance, I am in awe at what God has created. As I saw those stars sprinkled in the sky last night, I had to stop and consider how much he must have loved us to have made them all. 

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  • 1. Read his love letter.

    4. Remember this is not all there is.

    Slide 4 of 9

    For those who know God personally and have accepted what his Son did, they will have eternity to be in God’s presence. And what will heaven be like? Read 1 Corinthians 2:9. It means we cannot even imagine how wonderful it will be. But I do know some things that will not be in heaven. There will be no more pain, no more sorrow. There will be no more goodbyes. In heaven, there will be no suffering. 

    When Adam and Eve sinned, then all those things came upon man. And while God sent his Son to take away our sin, we still live in a fallen world. But one day we will be free from the presence of sin. We will enjoy being close to God in person. And I imagine it to be like the song In the Garden, where we’ll walk and talk and just enjoy being in each other’s presence. Did you ever have a time like that when you never wanted it to end? That's what it will be like. 

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  • 1. Read his love letter.

    5. Don't love the world.

    Slide 5 of 9

    Read 1 John 2:15-17. Paul is telling us to not love the world. Does he mean we can’t love anything that is in the world? No. He’s telling us to not become so in love with the world that we only cater to what the world says. He also tells us to not be conformed to the world. Read Romans 12:2. We are not going to always live here. We need to remember that. 

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  • 1. Read his love letter.

    6. Interact with others.

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    Read Ecclesiastes 4:12. One way for us to keep loving the Lord with all our hearts is to surround ourselves with others who love him. Having fellowship keeps us in God’s Word and thinking right. It also helps us when we start to get discouraged about life. Everyone needs encouragement at one time or another, and we can provide that for others if we are in God’s Word, thinking God’s thoughts. If one falls, another can pick us up. And the strand of three is not easily broken. 

    The enemy of our souls wants us to be lone rangers. He tells us we don’t need anyone else and we can just make it on our own. But then when we get down, we find ourselves slipping further and further down. We want to trust the Lord, but sometimes we just need a helping hand. And God wants us to help each other. He tells us to help when others are burdened. Read Galatians 6:2. When we share each other’s burdens, we help them and please God because we are obeying him.

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  • 1. Read his love letter.

    7. Ask God for help.

    Slide 7 of 9

    Even Jesus’ disciples got discouraged at times. Peter thought he would always be steadfast and love the Lord with all of his heart. But when the tough times came, and others started thinking less of those who followed Christ, Peter did what he never thought he would do. Read Mark 14:72. Peter thought he could never love the Lord less than he did. Sometimes when difficulties come, we falter. And yet, all we have to do is turn back to the Lord. When we turn back to God, we will find he is there just waiting for us.

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  • 1. Read his love letter.

    8. Draw close to God.

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    Sometimes we turn away from God or find we are not as close to him because of all the trials we have in our lives. They weigh us down. And even though we have help from others and people lifting us in prayer, we can’t seem to stand up again. At times like these, we need to remember, even when we feel like God has stepped back, it’s us that has moved. Read Psalm 34:18. We are told that God is close to those whose hearts are broken. Read Psalm 56:8. He is not only next to us, he is actually saving our tears. 

    It’s wonderful knowing a personal God who cares when we hurt and who understands when we falter. We have a loving Father who picks us up when we fall. One who will always be long-suffering toward us and who will never love us any less than he does right now. Remember, God proved his love by what he gave us. 

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  • 1. Read his love letter.

    9. Remember God is not finished yet.

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    Sometimes we feel like we are not loving God like we did, and we start feeling ashamed. We may see others who are doing great things for God and we feel stuck. Or maybe we are holding resentment towards God and we feel bad about it. The good news is, God is not finished with us; we are a work in progress. Read Philippians 1:6. God starts a work in us when we accept Jesus as our Savior. But then he continues to work on us until we see him. We are not finished products. Read 1 John 3:2. God is not finished yet. One day we will look like Jesus. Not today, but someday. And we can know that God will patiently work on us until that day.

    I don't know where you are in your walk with God. Maybe at one time you were excited, but some of that excitement has faded. Maybe you have let the world become bigger to you than it needs to be. Maybe you have let the trials in this life weigh you down, or you have let your hurts change the way you feel about God. But each day is a new day. You can be honest with God about where you are. You can confess if you’ve been struggling with him. God has big shoulders. If I get into God’s Word and do what he encourages me to do, I will be able to love him with all of my heart and you can too.

    Anne Peterson is a speaker, poet, and published author who is a regular contributor to Crosswalk. Anne has published 14 books including her memoir, Broken: A story of abuse, survival and hope. Anne believes life is hard, so she writes words to make it softer. Connect with Anne on her WebsiteFacebook or see her articles on Medium. You can also sign up for her newsletter and receive her free Ebook: Helping Someone in Grief: 17 Things You Need to Know.

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