How can you love God with all your heart? What can you do to increase the love you have for God? Love for God can grow cold if you are not vigilant, and you won’t get the most out of your relationship with your Heavenly Father without a little effort on your part. Here are some helpful ideas:
1. Start your day with an attitude of gratitude
Gratitude breathes life into any relationship; it helps you focus on the positive and not dwell on the negatives. Take the time to list all the good things that God has done for you and given you and you will feel the love build. When you take the time to notice what your loving God has given to you, you realize how much He loves you and it becomes impossible to stay lukewarm towards Him.
People who are thankful are happier and have a more positive outlook on life. Others are attracted to their cheerfulness and their attitude is contagious. God is attracted to thankful people too, and your positive attitude will strengthen your relationship with Him.
2. Spend time with God
It sounds self-evident, but think about how much time you spend watching television, playing on the computer, or pursuing your favorite activities and then contrast this with the amount of time you invest in praying or reading the Word of God.
You wouldn’t expect your spouse, best friend or fiancé to be satisfied with only five minutes of your time each day, so why do you think God wants to make do with so little time spent with you? Carve out some quality time with God every day by praying, reading the Bible and talking with Him and you will find your love for Him growing.
You cannot know the heart of someone that you spend no time with, and God’s heart is something worth getting to know. Even a small increase in the time you spend with God will reap exponential rewards in love. God is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Psalm 91:14 says:
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.”
3. Give to others
This one is a little less obvious, but important nonetheless. When you love someone and are trying to win their affection you do kind things for them, give little gifts and try to please them. God doesn’t want us to give Him a box of candy or a bouquet of flowers, so what can we give?
We can give of ourselves to others, reaching out as the hands and feet of Jesus. Call up that lonely elder, give a ride to the person who can’t get to church or the store because their car is broken, and make some sandwiches for the soup kitchen. These acts of unselfish kindness please God and your love for Him and others grows.
We are surrounded by many people with pressing needs and it can be overwhelming to us and make us hesitant to try to help out. Choose a few things you can do for others and do them with a cheerful and loving heart. When you do things for others you are doing them for Him.
Matthew 25:40 says, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”
When you do good things for others you are obeying what Jesus said are the two greatest commandments, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:37).
4. Keep your eyes and heart on Heavenly things
The world is full of distractions and wickedness, and these can come between you and God. On television, the radio, the internet and in the workplace, people of faith are being mocked for their beliefs and told that they are foolish to follow God.
Friends and co-workers can lead you to compromise on worldly behavior and agree to things you would not ordinarily do, leading to feelings of guilt and a lack of intimacy with God.
Take a stand for the truth and be prepared to accept ridicule for the sake of your beloved. Jesus willingly died for you, so enduring social pressure is a small thing to do in return. Choose carefully who you spend the majority of your time with, and what you spend your time doing.
Compromise once and you will have to do it again and again. Instead, stand firm for what you believe is right and your love for God will grow and He will strengthen you for the fight. You would not allow acquaintances to mock your spouse, children or family, so you should not allow others to weaken your relationship with God.
We are warned in the Bible that people will become cold towards God and that wickedness will grow. We have to guard our hearts and love for God against becoming like them. Guard your love like the precious treasure it is.
Matthew 24:12 warns us that “because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”
If you keep your eyes on Heavenly things, give abundantly of your time and resources, spend time with God and keep an attitude of gratitude you will be well on the way to having a heart that burns with love for God.