“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your life and with all your strength”—Deuteronomy 6:5
Valentine’s Day focuses our minds and hearts on those we love and we want to show expressions of that love. Of course, the greatest expression of love is “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believers in Him should not perish, but has everlasting life” (John 3:16). Charles Wesley wrote a hymn about this:
“Amazing love, how can it be, that Thou my God shouldst die for me!”
We can never love Him enough to repay what He has done for us, but He calls us to love Him with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our might.
The Hebrew word for love in that verse is “ahav.” It is one of those onomatopoetic words that sounds like what it means (like the word “buzz”)—“to sigh, yearn for, long after.” It is like when I first fell in love with my wife Kathy. I would talk to her on the phone, sighing, “O Kathy, I miss you; I wish I were with you.” Are we in love with God like that?
Just repeat this word a few times yourself: “Ahav! Ahav! Ahav!” Doesn’t that sound like you are sighing after God Himself? That you love Him and want to be near to Him? And to realize that God “ahav’s” you—that He sighs and yearns to be with you and to communion with you! Several psalms express this yearning for God:
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”—Psalm 42:1-2
“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.”—Psalm 63:1-2
“How lovely are Your dwelling places, O Lord of hosts! My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.”—Psalm 84:1-2
“Bless the Lord, my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.”—Psalm 103:1
God calls us to long after Him with our whole being, our whole insides, our whole mind, our emotions, our speech, our passion, our whole body, our everything. Let us fall back in love with Jesus again, to return to our first love.
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