Deut 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
So many people will claim that they love God. Some will say they really do, or at least try to, love Him with all their heart. They certainly have feelings about God, but loving God is not just about mustering a passion for Him. The problem is that it is easy to like the idea of God but really love self, as opposed to loving God and surrendering self.
There are ideas that God and we might share coincidentally that are to our advantage. We believe that stealing is bad, as well as killing and a host of other sins. We believe that doing good to our neighbor is good. God believes the same thing. In a way, God is lucky that we believe those things because then we will “obey” Him, but only because we happen to coincide with He believes. Because of this, we really love our selves. This shows up when there is something that we do not agree with God on. Then we cast Him aside and serve our selves. Sometimes it is a bit more sophisticated than that — we love a god of our own making, the god we imagine him to be.
To love God means to surrender our selves to Him. When we love Him and what He stands for we will happily obey Him even in the things that we don’t like personally. This is why hard times, trials, and tribulation often reveal whether someone sincerely loves God.
Matt 19:16-26 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.