In the 1950's there was a popular song called "To Know Him is to Love Him." That is so true! When a woman meets a man and they start dating, they don't love each other immediately. It's not "love at first sight" as Hollywood and romance novels often portray it. In order to love a person, we must first get to know him or her. We need to discover what that person is truly like, what makes him or her tick. Once we do, then we can determine if that person is someone that we can love.
Before we can say that we love God, we need to know Him first. But, how do we get to know God when we can't physically see Him? One way to get to know God is through His creation. God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). Everything that exists on earth was created by Him. So, when we look at the incredible beauty and variety in nature, it speaks of His glory and the amazing and creative work of His hands (Psalm 19:1). When we see the wonderful foods that His creation produces for us to eat, it speaks of a loving Father whose desire is to provide for His children. Creation clearly shows us God's divine nature and His eternal power (Romans 1:20). It is impossible to look at all that He created and not know Him.
We can also get to know God by spending time with Him. When we are dating someone, we look to spend as much time together as we possibly can. We want to be in each other's presence, so that we can get to know each other more intimately. We may also spend hours on end talking to each other. James 4:8 says that if we come near to God, if we spend time with Him, then He will spend time with us. When we are in His presence regularly, God reveals Himself to us. We learn that He is a faithful and loving God and, through the time we spend with Him, we experience His joy. And, when we talk to Him by spending time with Him in prayer, we learn that God is also a wonderful listener. He hears our prayers and He answers them (1 John 5:14-15).
One of the best, if not the best, ways of getting to know God is through His Word. By spending time in His Word, reading the Bible, God reveals Himself to us. We learn that He is a loving and faithful God. We discover that He is a merciful God who is full of compassion for His people. We also learn that He is righteous and just. All of Scripture is inspired by God with the intent of teaching us all that we need to know about Him and what we need to do to follow in His ways (2 Timothy 3:16). When we study His Word and follow His commands, then we can truly say that we know God. But, if we do not keep those commands, we cannot truthfully say that we know God (1 John 2:3-4).
When we take the time to appreciate God's creation, when we spend time with God and talk to Him in prayer, and when we read His Word and follow it, then we will know God. And to know God is to love Him. When we love God, we will desire to worship Him with all that we have, with our whole hearts, minds, souls, and strength.