Watson follows his list of signs that we love God with a list of motivations to love Him.
While we cannot lose our perfect union with Christ, there may be times when we can lose our close communion with Him.
This is because our love for Him is not static. It goes up and down. We often need to be reminded of what will fuel our first love. As the psalmist states, “Love the Lord, all you His saints.” (Ps. 31:23). Watson points out that “A soldier may as well be without a weapon, an artist without a pencil, and a musician without his instrument, as a Christian can be without love”.
20 motivations to love God: May this list be forever drawn on your heart:
- Without love all our religion is vain. Duties that are not mingled with love are as burdensome to God as they are to us. This does not mean that if there is no love then you do not do your duty. If that is the case then you do your duty in repentance and love will come.
- Love is the noblest grace and it puts a shine on all the other graces. By love, we resemble God and grow to be like Him (1 Jn. 4:16).
- God is very reasonable to ask this of us. He could ask us of anything and He asks us to love. Just as a bride with her new husband, love is delightful and is never labor.
- God is the most complete and perfect object we could love. There is nothing better and nothing in God to hinder that love.
- Love is the oil on the wheels of our affections. Like Jacob’s love for Rachel, it will make our worst duty a pleasure.
- Love is what our God desires even though he does not need it.
- Love is what our God deserves and it is a miracle that God loves us when there is nothing lovely in us. Why is it such a struggle to love Him more than the World? Does the World appease the wrath of God for us? Does the World sacrifice itself for us? Does it make us new?
- Love to God is the best self-love (1 Jn. 4:16).
- Loving God is a sign of sincerity (Jn. 21:15).
- If we love Him we can know that God loved us first (1 Jn. 4:19).
- If you do not love God, you will love something else that is not worthy of your ultimate love. Neither the World nor sin will truly satisfy, remove conscience issues, get you to Heaven, be with you forever, or really love you back. To love sin is to love disease (Isa. 1:5), heart-pollution (Jms. 1:21), a misshapen monster (Zech. 11:8), and an enemy that brings the sting of shame, guilt, horror, and death. Why would you love damnation?
- The united relationship we are in with Him calls for love (Isa. 54:5).
- Love is the grace that will not leave us. The expiration date is coming on some graces like repentance. But there is no expiration date on love.
- Love is powerful enough to fight. It fights to kill sin and the only corrosive to destroy sin.
- Love causes growth.
- Love for God brings immense benefits (Jms. 1:12). I challenge you to make your own list.
- Love to God is an armor of proof against error. Love plants truth and weeds out error (2 Thess. 2:10-11).
- If we love God, everything in life is for our good (Rom. 8).
- To be lacking in love for God brings about apostasy. The soldier who does not love His commander will leave to the other side if given the chance and the World offers many a chance.
- Love is the only retaliation against God and response to God. If He is disciplining us we may not discipline back. If He is angry with us, we may not be angry back. But we may respond in all things with love.
To stay in love with Him we must study Him and work hard to preserve our own love for Him (Rev. 2:4). We must keep an eye out for signs that our love is going out. Are you losing a taste of sweetness for Him (Job 6:6)? Have you lost your appetite for Him and His word (Matt. 5:6; 1 Kings 1:1)? Have you lost your zeal in worship and obedience? When the strings of the violin go slack it will not make good music and be in tune with the rest of the instruments.
We must watch our hearts and increase our love every day (Phil. 1:9).
While our union with Christ never cools, our communion with Christ may at times. When the fire of communion seems to go out, how do you reignite the fire? Here we have many motivations that we may strike against our hearts to further our love.