Bob Tamasy: Did You Know God Wants Us To Love Him?

  • Thursday, January 19, 2023
  • Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Do you own a pet? I’ve never been a fan of cats, in part because of their aloofness. Too independent. You arrive home and their response largely depends upon their mood at the time. Dogs are different. You walk in the door and they’re right there, tails wagging, sometimes barking, jumping up and down. Your own personal canine welcoming committee.

Some “experts” claim dogs don’t feel true love, at least as we humans understand it. But you could fool me. The dogs I’ve had communicated lots of love, not only in their “So glad you’re home!” greetings but also their eagerness to sit by your side or on your lap. (That’s why I’ve been partial to small dogs. With large dogs, there’s not enough lap for the dog.)

It’s been a few years since we had a dog, but it was always nice to have them demonstrate their affection, no matter how long we had been gone and no matter how bad our day had been otherwise. It’s nice to be loved, isn’t it? Nothing wrong with that.

In a far more profound sense, the love of a child for its mother or father is amazing. When babies are born, the first few days they struggle to focus but once they can, their eyes latch onto another pair of eyes – usually those of mom or dad. Then the parent eagerly awaits the moment of the first smile, the instinctive recognition by the infant of “That’s my Mommy!” or “That’s my Daddy!”

It’s been a long time since our children were little, but it still thrills me when we’re babysitting our younger grandkids and their mom or dad comes home. The kiddos rush to the door with delighted cries of “Mommy!” or “Daddy!” with arms outstretched for a hug. Their parents return the inevitable smiles, reveling in the spontaneous welcome. It’s nice to feel loved, right?

Have you ever considered that God wants us to love Him in a similar way? The Scriptures are replete with expressions of His love for His children. Probably the best-known is John 3:16, “For God so loved that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

However, the concept of God’s love for His children didn’t start with the birth of Christ. It also was a key Old Testament truth. The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness’” (Jeremiah 31:3).

Recounting how God delivered the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, Moses spoke numerous times about God’s love. Here are two examples: “Because He loved your forefathers and chose their descendants after them, He brought you out of Egypt by His Presence and His great strength” (Deuteronomy 4:37). And similarly, “…because the LORD loved you and kept the oath He swore to your fathers, He brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 7:8).

Jesus Christ affirmed the depth of God’s love for His children when He said, “Greater love has no one that this, that a person will lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). This is exactly what Jesus, God incarnate, did for us on the cross, dying in our place and paying the incomprehensible price for our sins.

However, what about God’s desire to receive our love? Jesus addressed this as well, quoting Deuteronomy 6:4, when He said the greatest commandment is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

Of course, He doesn’t want our love expressed out of grudging obedience. But if we take even a few moments to seriously consider all that the Lord has done for us – not only on the cross and, through His resurrection, promising us eternal life, but also the blessings He bestows on us every single day, how can we not give Him our love and gratitude in return?

The apostle Paul referred to this when he wrote, “If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because…He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Corinthians 5:13-15).

Okay, if we accept that God desires to receive our love just as He freely gives His love to us, what does that look like? Much could be said about that, but we find simple guidelines in both the Old and New Testaments.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 admonishes, “Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him.” The apostle John stated it this way: “This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).

A parent demonstrates love for a child not only through words but also through actions. Love for one’s spouse is expressed in the same way. In like manner, our love for God is to be shown by both our words and our deeds. If we truly understand what He has done for us, that shouldn’t be hard to do.

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Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is His email address is

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