The first four of the Ten Commandments focus on the issue of love for God. To a degree, these commands overlap, but the first two have a greater emphasis on who God is, and on some of our responsibilities that flow directly out of that fact. The third and fourth commands have a greater emphasis on our response to the God who is described in the first two.
For our purpose, we have divided the various articles into two groups. Those which have a greater emphasis on who God is are found in the section entitled "God and Creation: About God." Those which have a greater emphasis on how we relate to God are found here.
This section focuses on some of the issues dealt with in the third and fourth commandments (and to some degree, the first two). These would include issues such as:
- God and our Attitude
- God and our Actions
One additional comment about the first four commands: We cannot totally separate them from the last six (which deal mainly with our relationships with other people). Since God created people to reflect his character, both groups of commands are interrelated.
God is to have "first place" in our lives - all the time.
When we truly accept who God is and who we are, there is no other response possible, than to have an attitude of humility and a willingness to trust God in everything. (Those who don't accept God now will be filled with shame and terror when they see him at the Day of Justice.)
If we truly love God, we will want to talk to him (prayer) and acknowledge his greatness and worth (aspects of worship). It will be the natural desire of our heart (as one who has become a follower of Jesus) and not a "forced" duty. (Yes, it is a duty, but it will be a duty that we delight in doing.)
It is probably impossible to over-emphasize the fact that "love for God" and "religious activities" are not the same! Religious activities can be very offensive to God - especially when they are done as a substitute for genuine obligations and genuine love. Some of the issues related to this matter are found here.
"Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?" (Matthew 22:36)
Jesus replied, " 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matthew 22:37-38)