Love Expressed

I’m reading an amazing book by Chris Hodges. It’s called, “Fresh Air” (you can pick up a copy from Amazon.com here). Today’s chapter was called, “God’s Love Language” (chapter 8), and this post is based off of what I learned in that chapter.

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I love my God. He’s awesome. However, I haven’t often thought about how I love Him or even how He wants to be loved. There are different kinds of love. There’s love like you love a pair of shoes, love like you love a friend, brotherly love, passionate love that you feel for your spouse. In the Bible, there’s an entire chapter about Agape love. Agape love is an all encompassing love – It goes past friendship to a deep, heart-felt love. Agape love is a love that elevates. It’s true love. And that’s how God wants us to love Him… but how do we express that love?

“We must remember that we don’t worship for our benefit but for God’s.”

 

– Chris Hodges

The Bible tells us a lot about how God wants us to express our love for Him. His love language is one of praise and admiration. He loves it when we praise Him – that’s what makes Him feel loved.

Chris Hodges wrote about David being a man after God’s own heart. When David wrote the Pslams, He wrote them to praise God – He was expressing his love in the way God wanted to hear it. He praised Him through singing, dancing, playing music, shouting, lifting their hands, craving His presence, and living his lives for Him.

This was the man after God’s own heart, his would be a great example to follow. Check out these verses:

Psalm 34:1 (and 52:9) – “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.”

Psalm 68:4 – “Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.”

Psalm 70:4 – “But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, ‘The Lord is great!'”

Psalm 16:8 – “I keep my eyes always on the Lord.”

Psalm 71:14 – “As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.”

Psalm 95:2 – “Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”

Psalm 26:3 – “for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.”

Psalm 109:30 – “With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord; in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him.”

Psalm 111:1 – “Praise the Lord. I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly.”

Psalm 115:17-18 –  “It is not the dead who praise the Lord, those who go down to the place of silence; it is we who extol the Lord, both now and forevermore.”

Psalm 117 – “Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord.”

Psalm 145:10 – “All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you.”

Expressing our love through praise and worship shouldn’t just happen on Sunday mornings, it should be  a way of life.

In Proverbs 8 after recounting how God created the world, Solomon wrote, “Then I was constantly at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind” (30-31). Praising God during everyday life was a recurring theme throughout the old testament. But praising God didn’t end when Jesus came, it allowed us to love Him more personally – to draw near to Him(Hebrews 10:19-22). To praise Him as a Savior as well as a Creator. The apostle Paul said to: “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; let all the peoples extol him” (Romans 15:11).

These great men of the Bible really got it. They actively expressed their love for God. I can’t imagine going a day without actively loving my husband. Sometimes I run to give him a hug when he first gets home from work. Other times I sit back and just marvel at how amazing it is that he loves me. But it’s always an active love.

All too often, my love for God doesn’t pour out of me that way. I love Him the way I love my brothers. I really do love them… but that doesn’t mean I think about them every day. I think about them on occasion, and even have pictures of them around my house, but I rarely call them or go visit them. I would be crushed if they ever stopped loving me in return or if anything ever happened to them, but (living three states away) they aren’t an active part of my life. I don’t actively love them.

Obviously we can’t love everyone in our lives with an active love every single day, but God wants to be our number one. He wants us to love Him with all that we are with that active love. He wants us to think about Him constantly, talk to Him about our days. “Pray continually,” the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

God wants us to actively love Him. And His love language is the language of praise. Have you praised Him yet today?

 

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.”
– Hebrews 13:15

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