How Do I Know I Love God?

James Boyd

Lessons that provoke self-examination are very profitable for us. Most people who believe in God will say they love God because they should love Him. We are commanded to love God. “Then one of them which was a lawyer asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:35-40). Even though we say we love God, how can we be sure we love Him as we ought? Let us run seven tests that will help us answer this Question.


One, we love to be in the presence of those we love. This is true concerning our family and friends. Strange indeed would be the man who would say, “I love my wife, but do not want to be with her.” Do we desire to be where God is?

We are aware that in a sense, God is everywhere. But in this sense He is as much with those who love Him as those who do not. There are some additional ways in which God and man are together. God said, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”(Matthew 18:20) Do we share the sentiments of David when he said, “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 122: 1) He knew God would be there. If we love God and want to be where He is, then we will not neglect assembling with the saints for worship (Hebrews 10:25). Many members of the church would be offended if it was suggested they do not love God, but they demonstrate their lack of love by not being where God said He would be.

Furthermore, if we love God we will not be where we know God does not want us to be, such as places of ill-repute, gambling dens, drinking bars, dance floors, etc. By this test, do we really love God?

Eat And Drink

Two, we love to eat and drink with those we love. Eating together has always been a mark of hospitality, friendship, and love. We like to have those we love come and eat with us and we cherish the opportunity to go to the homes of those we love and enjoy this fellowship. Great warehouses of treasure are shared together while sharing a meal.

There is a memorial feast where we can commune with God also. It is called a communion. We commune with Deity and our brethren. Christians have the opportunity to partake of the Lord's Supper. “And as they were eating Jesus took bread and blessed it, and brake it, and gave to the disciples, and said, Take, eat, this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it, For this is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my father's kingdom.” (Matthew 26:26-29). Paul gave a lengthy teaching concerning the Lord's Supper in First Corinthians 11:23-30. When we love God, we will be very attentive to this privilege and duty regarding the Lord's Supper.

Hear Them Talk

Third, we love for the ones we love to talk with us. God has spoken His Word unto man. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us through His Son...” (Hebrews 1:1,2). If we receive Christ, we must receive His word. "He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth mereceiveth Him that sent me.” (Matthew 10:40). The apostles and early-inspired evangelists went out bearing witness of Christ and preaching His Word, later writing down the Scriptures, which is the Word of God. To receive those whom Christ sent out was to receive their word about Christ. His Word is His voice. If we love God we will love His Word.

We must show reverence for His Word. Those of the Old Testament showed this reverence. When Ezra gathered the people together to read to them God's law, everyone that could understand was assembled, and the people were attentive to that reading. When Ezra opened up the book, everyone showed their respect by standing. The Psalmist said, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my pathway.”(Psalm 119:105). Jesus is called the "Word" in John 1:1. He was the very personification of God's Word. That Word will make us free (John 8:32). We are commanded to study it (Second Timothy 2:15). Those who are blessed are those who meditate upon His Word (Psalm 1:1,2). Does it not strike you as strange that one would claim to love God but just could not bear to hear from God over fifteen minutes a week? They cannot bear to hear His voice on Sunday evening, Wednesday evening, during gospel meetings, or at home. Does it cause us to wonder whether we shall be comfortable in heaven when we dislike hearing His voice so much?

Talk To Them

Fourth, we love not only to hear from those we love but we love to talk to those we love. It would be most peculiar if we never talked to the ones we loved. We talk to God through prayer. “Men ought always to pray and not to faint.”(Luke 18:1). "I will therefore that men pray everywhere.”(First Timothy 2:8). “Pray without ceasing.” (First Thessalonians 5: 17) .One has written that more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of. James says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5: 16). We need to pray for the church, our families, ourselves, the sick, our nation, and all nations of the earth. We need to offer praise and thanksgiving to God. This can be done through prayer. We will talk to God often and fervently when we love Him. We will not reserve our prayers for only those times when we encounter difficulties, or just at the formal worship services. Prayer will be a faithful practice because we love God.

Loving Others

Fifth, if we love God we shall love those He loves. “These things I command you, that ye love one another.” (John 15: 17). “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life
abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

(First John 3: 14-16). “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”(First John 4:11). “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath see, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” (First John 4:20,21). “Let brotherly love continue.” (Hebrews 13: 1). If we love God, we shall never have hate in our hearts against any person, especially our Christian brothers and sisters. God loves them, and He loves the world. We should love the world and love our brethren, to be like God.


Sixth, we love to give gifts to those we love. God loved us and gave His only begotten Son. Parents and grandparents give gifts to children because they love them. God has given us life. Every good and perfect gift comes from God (James 1: 17). Paul said, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.”(First Timothy 6:17). He offers to give us eternal life if we will come to Christ and live faithfully before Him.

In return, we should give gifts unto God. Those of the Old Testament gave to Him of their first fruits, not the blemished leftovers. We do not treat those we love with what is leftover, but try to provide for them our best. Some treat God about like they do their pets, handing out scraps on which they are to survive, and be grateful to get that.

More than that, we will give Him gifts that we know He wants. “I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable, unto God, which is your reasonable service.”(Romans 12:1). "Therefore asye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also." {Second Corinthians 8:7). “Every man according as he hath purposed in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, nor of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver.” (Second Corinthians 9:7). The work of the Lord is dependent to a great extent on our gifts to God. We show our love by the way we give. God has not specified some percentage in giving, but has placed the Christian on the honor and love system of giving. When we love God we will find it easy to give to Him. This principle of truth is another one of those matters in the God-man relationship- with which nobody cane take exception. We know it is true even in the relationships that exist between people. It is also true in our service to God.

Try To Please

Seventh, if we love God, as we should we shall try to please Him because we try to please those we love. We should seek to please God in every phase of our lives. Pleasing God is not a now and then affair, but a life.“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this; To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”(James 1:27). Worldliness is one of the greatest dangers threatening the Christian. It has, is, and can ruin the church.“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.” (Titus 2: 11, 12). “Love not the world, neither the thinqs that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (First John 2: 15). “Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you.” (John 15: 14). “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not grievous.” (First John 5:3). “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings, and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.” (John 14:23,24). “If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love.” (John 15: 10). There is no legitimate way to justify the claim that we love God unless we obey the voice of God as revealed in His Word.

Now we each one can examine ourselves before God with these seven measures to determine the extent of our love for God. We can see wherein we may be lacking and should hasten to be about improving wherein we fall short.