God has given us His nature through the new birth, thus empowering us to walk in His love.
(Romans 5:5 NKJV)…the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Spirit who was given to us.
As believers we are born of God, thus we are born of love. The Spirit of God within us has recreated us with the divine nature of God within us; therefore we can love as God loves.
(1 John 4:7-8 NKJV) Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
To love God with our heart requires that our affections and emotions be upon God. Our emotions will naturally follow what we set our heart upon. For instance, when we say, “I really have my heart set upon this,” It really means that my emotions are engaged in the pursuit of it.
Our emotions are a powerful part of our lives, and therefore we must guard our hearts to assure that our emotions or affections are not misplaced. This is perhaps one of the greatest snares that we can fall prey to.
(Proverbs 4:23 NKJV) Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.
Our obedience to God demands that He be kept as the central focus of our hearts. Anything or anyone that takes that spot becomes an idol in our lives. The rich young ruler serves as an illustration of the snare of misplaced affections.
(Matthew 19:16-24 NKJV)…21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
God called David a man after His own heart, because David made a willful decision to make God the focal point of His affections.
(Psalm 18:1 NKJV) I will love You, O LORD, my strength.
(Psalm 91:14 NKJV) Because he has set his love [heart] upon Me, therefore I will deliver him…