The Christian life should be lived with passion. Our walk with the Lord should pulse with love. Jesus tells us that we should love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. We should love the Lord from the gut with all that we are and all that we have.
It’s not enough to love God only with a sense of duty. It is not enough to grit our teeth and fulfill our obligations to the Lord. What we do for the Lord should be done with some fire in our bones. Do it with some gusto. Put some umph into it. We need to want to know Him. We need to want to serve Him. Don’t just live out the life of faith because it is what we ought to do, but rather because it is our heart’s desire.
What would it be like to receive a present from someone only to hear that they gave it to us out of duty? No one wants someone to give them flowers if their heart isn’t in it. No one wants people’s grudging generosity. The pleasure someone derives from the sacrifice is important. If someone doesn’t really want to give the gift then we probably would prefer that they keep it for themselves. Doing what we do with a cheerful heart is important.
I am not saying that there isn’t a place for duty in the Christian life. At times we do have to learn to deny ourselves. At times we need to die to ourselves and do the right thing anyway. We need to follow through with our commitments and do what we said we will do even if it is hard.
We need to however progress beyond that sort of motivation. Serve the Lord with gladness. Worship Him out of the overflow of life that the Lord has given us. Find pleasure in God Himself. God is honored best when we love Him with a joyful heart.
That’s the sort of love the Lord has for us. Throughout scripture God is depicted as one who “abounds in steadfast love.” It’s not just that He loves, but that He loves out of an overflow within Himself. Zephaniah 3 talks about how the Lord “rejoices over us” with gladness and with “loud singing.” John 3:16 tells us that not only does God love us but that He “so” loves us.
Let’s get in touch with God’s passionate love for us. Romans 5:5 tells us that God has poured out His love to fill our hearts. Let’s open ourselves up to receive His love so that love will well up within us for Him and for His people.