ODJ: Three Little Words

September 2, 2016 

READ: Psalm 105:1-5 

Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given (v.5).

“My dad never told me he loved me,” she said. Her words held no bitterness; she was simply stating a fact. She understood the harsh origins that shaped her dad’s life, and she could bask in the knowledge that he cared deeply for her.

But still her father could not say the words “I love you.” I began to think about how God had given me an adoptive father who often expressed his love for me. And then I thought of how God Himself shows His love to me.

A question immediately came to mind: Do I ever tell God I love Him? I sing the phrase in worship songs, but do I sing those words thoughtlessly? When do I tell Him I truly love Him?

Intriguingly, I couldn’t find a biblical command to tell God I love Him. What I did find were numerous commands to praise and obey the Lord. Israel’s poets constantly reminded the people to praise God for the things He did for them. Psalm 105 gives one example: “Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises” (vv.1-2).

The Bible does tell us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart” (Deuteronomy 6:5). But the question remains: Why doesn’t the Bible specifically command us to tell God we love Him? Perhaps it’s because God knows how easy it is for us to say empty words. Most of us know the pain inflicted when the phrase “I love you” is used tritely or flippantly. The words are precious and powerful. They should be used carefully.

God wants us to show our love to Him by lives filled with gratitude, service, obedience, and praise. By doing so, our very lives will say “I love You” to our loving heavenly Father and to a world that watches.

—Tim Gustafson

365-day plan: Matthew 21:28-46

Read 1 John 4:7-12 and consider what real love for God and others entails. 
Think of those times when you have told others you love them. What sort of impact does it have on you? In what ways do you show God you love Him?