The movie, Artificial Intelligence by Steven Spielberg is the story of David, a robotic child, programmed to love, separated from his mommy and wanting only to please her. Professor Jolley, David’s creator was asked the point of making David. “It’s the oldest story of all”, he said. “Didn’t God create us so we might love Him?”
Yes, but true love is a two way thing. God created us foremost to shower us with His love. But, like David, we got lost and separated from our Divine Parent. Yet, He has come to our world to seek and to save us and He did, through the great sacrifice of Jesus, who suffered and died to restore us to our Creator Father.
He did this even while we had no use for Him. This is not only a great mystery to me, it’s an incredible love story. Hopefully you and God have found each other. I pray you are in relationship with him. But now that you are, how can you return His love, so amazing and divine?
The hymn states what the apostle writes in Romans 12: 1. God’s sacrifice requires ours. Present your bodies to God as a living sacrifice...But what does He want with our bodies? Much! First, he wants to fill up our emptiness with the fullness of his loving presence. (Romans 5:5; John 7: 32, 33).
Next, he wants our love. There are two ways we show love to God. One is directly, as we read in Hebrews 13: 15: With Jesus’ help, let us continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God, celebrating and declaring Jesus’ love with the tribute of our lips.” (Our translation). Some question this. Why does God require our praise? Is He on an ego trip? C.S. Lewis struggled with this notion and finally realized that praise both honors God and does us much good.
I am facing cancer surgery in a few days. And I can testify that praising God during this trial, while sometimes a sacrifice and effort, has been a wonderful way to draw near to my Lord, to sense His presence and realize His promise that He will see me through this trial.
But Hebrews goes on. In verse 16 we are told there is another dimension to pleasing God. Remember to do good and help each other. Gifts like this please God. (Hebrews 13:16).
This information repeats what the writer already stated “Continue to love each other with true brotherly love. ( Hebrews 13: 1,NLT). What makes Daddy happier than seeing his kids getting along, helping each other? But then, Don’t forget to be kind to strangers. (13:2)
The Great Commandment’s Three Dimensions: Our mission is to love God directly through praise, to love one another with acts of charity and forbearance and to treat our neighbors with acceptance and kindness. Like the cross, our mission is vertical and horizontal. When we do this we honor God, we are a good advertisement for His Kingdom and we return the sacrifice—the bonds of Calvary’s love. When we fail to do this, however, make no mistake. We grieve Him. (Eph. 4:30)
We praise You, Living God, for finding us even when we had no thought of you or desire for you. Help us to be faithful to worship you and to love others. We want so much to please you.