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Love God, His Way

Updated: Feb 21, 2020

Chan Gin Kai

Ezra 3:1-6

Then in accordance with what is written, they celebrated the Festival of Tabernacles with the required number of burnt offerings prescribed for each day. After that, they presented the regular burnt offerings, the New Moon sacrifices and the sacrifices for all the appointed sacred festivals of the Lord, as well as those brought as freewill offerings to the Lord. On the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, though the foundation of the Lord’s temple had not yet been laid. (Ezra 3:4-6)

The Jews celebrated the Festival of Tabernacles in accordance with what is written”, and they did it “with the required number of burnt offerings prescribed for each day.” And before that, they had built the altar to sacrifice burnt offerings in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses” (Ezra 3:2).

They did not simply worship God. They worshipped God in the way He wanted them to do it. This is not only an act of obedience, but an act of respect and love too.

My wife hates durians with a vengeance. Each time she catches even just a whiff of its smell from a distance, she’ll protest loudly against its stink. Now imagine me surprising her with a stalk of durian on Valentine’s Day and proclaiming my adoration. She loves me enough to not throw the durian at me, but she’ll certainly be disappointed. I’ll be the stupidest guy if I wonder why she is upset. And I’ll be the most self-centred guy if I accuse her of not appreciating my love.

Now imagine me asking the following questions: Why can’t she just appreciate my sincerity? Doesn’t she know how far I went to buy the durian? Why is she so choosy?

I am glad I am neither so dunce, nor so insensitive. And I believe my wife is just as glad, if not more.

If I want to show my wife love, I should do it in a way that makes her feel loved. It shouldn’t be in whatever way I want to express myself. The goal is to make her feel happy, not to make myself feel good about my sacrifices or acts of devotion.

An act of love should flow from the heart of the lover to the beloved. It is about the beloved, to please the beloved, to bring joy to his or her heart. It should never be about the lover.

Love should be expressed in a way that pleases the recipient, not the giver. This may sound like common sense. But sadly, this is not how everyone behaves in their relationships. And this common sense often disappears when it comes to loving God.

I believe most of us are grateful to God for His incredible love, but we don’t often reciprocate in a way that pleases Him. Oh yes, we want to show God our love too, but do we do it in a way that makes us happy, or makes Him happy?

The Bible gives us an insight into the character of God. It tells us about God’s nature – His love, holiness, power and more. The Bible also teaches us what pleases God, and the way to show Him our love and respect. The question is, do we love God His way? Or do we choose to do it our way?

Do we praise God in songs but live in sin? Do we thank God for His forgiveness but not forgive others? Do we claim to love God, but not keep His commands?

We know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commands. Whoever says, “I know Him,” but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys His word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did. (1 John 2:3-6)

John wrote that we have to obey God’s word so that our “love for God is truly made complete”. We’ll be liars if we claim to love Him but do not keep His commands.

How do we love our partners, parents, children and friends? Do we love them in a way that makes them happy? And how do we love God? Do we love Him in a way that pleases Him?

Let’s love God, His way.

Chan Gin Kai

Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. In church, he serves as a mentor to young professionals in the EDGE Ministry. He describes himself as "just a sinner who wants to get right with God". Gin Kai joined the Central Christian Church in 1988.

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