Psalm 116: Why Love God?
May 23, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
2 Samuel 20-21, Psalm 116, Mark 15:33-41, Galatians 5:1-12
We are told often that we are to love God. But why? To ask such a question seems sacrilegious. After all, are we not meant to love God out of duty? Or, are we not meant to love God because he is eminently lovable? But then why do our affections sometimes not match our duties. What is it about God that should move us to be so loving towards him, to have our hearts, minds, affections, and wills move towards him in love?
This psalm begins by saying, “I love the Lord, because….” There is a reason that is given for us to love God. And that reason is rescue. “I love the Lord because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he has inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live” (116:1-2).
If this morning you are struggling with renewing your commitment to God or with following God or with obeying God in some area of your life, remember then the lesson of this psalm that is confirmed in one way or another throughout this psalm: that God is to be loved because he has rescued you. Think of the cross. Think of how he rescued you in the story of your own life. Think on his answers to your prayers when in desperate need. Think of rescue.
God is a God of rescue. And as you focus on that—“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (116:15)— you will find stirred up again within you a renewed (loving) commitment. “I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving” (116:17).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
To receive God Centered Life devotionals directly in your inbox, as well as other resources, enter your email address in the form at the bottom of this page and click "subscribe."