To love God in a manner that pleases Him and fulfills our hearts requires more than we can in and of ourselves give. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" (Deuteronomy 6:5). Israel failed miserably to keep the great command, serving as the prime example that even the most favored earthly people had no capacity in themselves to love as they are loved.
"The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).
Only a God-quality love empowers human hearts to "love Him because He first loved us" (I John 4:19). Thus, the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ provides the gift of the Holy Spirit to trusting hearts, making possible the reciprocal devotion to God of which He is so worthy. Through Christ, we can love our Heavenly Father with all. In our present lifetime, of course, we will not perfectly experience or express such ardor and consecration. The potential is always there, however, because the Presence is always there. The God who "is love" dwells within us by His Spirit, thus establishing the relationship that leads to mutuality of loving fellowship in the moments of our earthly sojourn (I John 4:8). We freely choose to love our Lord, but we do so in full recognition that, again, a God-quality love makes possible both the relationship and the fellowship.
King David perfectly expressed this reception and response dynamic of God's grace received by faith. "I will love Thee, o Lord my strength!" (Psalm 18:1). David freely chose to love, as love must if it is to have any meaning and reality. He did so, however, in the recognition and affirmation that he required the Lord's strength to love Him as He loves us. Just as we are dependent on God for our existence, we are dependent on Him for the main reason for our existence, namely, to be loved and to love. Do we love God by His design or by our determination? Yes. Through Christ, the mystery of the Divine/human synthesis that began in Him imparts to us the seemingly enigmatic reality of freely loving our Lord while completely aware of our dependence on Him. Thus, our devotion means something to Him because He does not merely program our love (a logical impossibilty, in Biblical terms). However, it glorifies Him because it would not and could not exist in us apart from Him. "Without Me, ye can do nothing… I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (John 15:5; Philippians 4:13).
God originally made humanity in His image for the purpose of a loving relationship and fellowship no other created being can experience. Let the thought of that sink deeply into our hearts. We exist to honor our Lord by being loved, and then to love Him in trusting and holy response. If this be true, and it is, this day and this moment offer to us a gift unimaginable in its wonder. Through Christ, we can know the love of God. And through the presence of His indwelling Spirit, we can respond to Him in love, a God-quality love.
"I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it, that the love wherewith Thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them."
"Hearken unto Me now therefore, o ye children, and attend to the words of My mouth."