And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. Mark 12:30
These are the words of Jesus. This first and most important commandment tells us clearly that above anything else in our life, we are to love God. We are to love him completely, with our whole being, putting Him first in our lives.
The word love can mean many things. This is a love of will, action, dedication, commitment, and purpose. It springs from gratitude for his mercy (the forgiveness of sin) and his saving grace that declares us heirs to His kingdom (our justification) and humble respect (fear of God) for who he is. To love God in this way results in obedience to his will; if you love God, you will keep his commandments. Read John 4:15 It is not a love of emotion, or friendship nor is it compliance to religious ritual.
Know that God is serious about this. It is a commandment, not a suggestion. Here Moses tells the Jews about God’s intolerance for those who chose to reject his commands and to love other gods (idols) of the world:
Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth. Deuteronomy 6:14-15
Solomon tells us in Proverbs, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Read Proverbs 9:10 Fear is the beginning, but it is by love that wisdom is accomplished. Those who love God in obedience will dwell in the word, abide in his presence, and will find his wisdom.