the god of love January 30—February 3
This week we will look at an idol that may be the most deceptive of all—the god of love. Sometimes we allow our love for other people to be the central driving force in our life. God indeed calls us to love others, however, that love is supposed to flow from our love for God. Romantic love and relationships within our immediate family are legitimate loves that have the tendency to get out of order in our lives. When your love for someone is greater than your love for God, that person has become an idol. The problem is not with loving others too much, it is with not loving God enough. By loving God more, we are going to love our family in more fruitful ways. Determine what love is greater than your love for God and repent.
Day 1 Deuteronomy 6:1-9
Reflect: Why does Moses remind them that the Lord alone is their God? What is the connection between the love of and obedience to God? How is this text speaking to you?
Apply: What does it look like to love God alone with all your heart, your soul (which is your mind, emotions, will) and your strength? For you to do so, what needs to change?
Pray: God, may my inner and outward actions, attitude, words, and motives reflect a heart that loves the Lord with all my heart, and soul, and mind, and strength, to Your honor and glory.
Day 2 Genesis 22:1-19
Reflect: Describe what God was testing in Abraham and why. How is the story of the proposed sacrifice of Isaac like the actual sacrifice of Jesus? Define true love by these two events.
Apply: How has God tested your love and obedience to Him? How did you respond and what did it teach you about God and/or about yourself? Who are you loving more than God?
Pray: Father, I confess that it is often difficult to let go of the things I love and to obediently give myself to Your purposes. Help me to trust You in all things and to let go of anything that stands in the way of my whole-hearted love for You.
Day 3 Luke 14:25-33
Reflect: With regard to Jesus, the word love is not in this passage. How is it implied? What costs would the people have been thinking about based on what Jesus was saying to them?
Apply: How has loving Jesus impacted your relationships with others? What has been or would be the cost of you putting Jesus before everything and everyone else?
Pray: Ask Jesus to show you those things you are holding too tightly that may hinder you from following Him. Ask Him to give the grace you need to be able to let go.
Day 4 1 John 4:13-19
Reflect: Why are we able to experience God’s love for us and able to love others? How would love look if we did not know the love of God? How is God speaking to you?
Apply: How secure are you in the love of God? In what ways do you relate to verse 18? Is there any fear keeping you from accepting and resting in God’s perfect love? Ask Him.
Pray: Father, I know that when I fear things in life, I am not trusting You. Surround me in Your perfect love, where fear has no place and is cast out. Help me come to a deep realization of the depth of Your love, and help me to love as I am loved.
Day 5 Psalms 36:5-9
Reflect: What does David teach us about God and His character? Describe God’s unfailing love, kindness and faithfulness. Share this with someone.
Apply: Spend time telling the Lord how precious and priceless His love is to you. Ask Him to reveal anything that is taking His place in your heart, and why. Let Him help you repent.
Pray: God, Your love is beyond my ability to really understand. Make your love so real in my heart that I will love others as you love me.
Put It Into Practice!
Week 2: the god of love
Determine any love that has become greater than your love of God and why. Repent. Ask yourself, “Is there a relationship in my life that seems to be the determining factor in whether or not I am happy and joyful or sad and depressed?” For who do you sacrifice most? Do you sacrifice as much for Christ as you do for them? Can you find signs of “disordered love” in your family relationships? How would a deeper worship of God affect these symptoms?