I've done a lot of thinking recently about God's love. Because the only thing I have to compare it to is a human relationship, this is my point of reference.
When a man loves a woman, is it enough that he loves her? Can he be satisfied to feel that emotion and not want anything else? NO, when a man loves a woman, he becomes relentless in his pursuit of her. What becomes his greatest desire? To consummate the relationship. He wants his love to be received and returned and he can be satisfied with nothing less.
Well, I believe it is the same with God. It is not enough for Him that He loves us. He, too, is relentless in His pursuit of us. He wants to lavish His love upon us. He wants to bless us with "every good and perfect gift" (James 1:17) And He will not be satisfied until the relationship is consummated; until we fully receive His love and fully love Him in return.
To consummate means "to bring to completion; conclude; to perfect; to complete". To consummate a relationship means to bring to completion and conclusion the pursuing period and to perfect and complete it with the ultimate act of intimacy.
God desires that kind of intimacy with us and that intimacy can only be achieved when we fully receive and fully return His love.
Thus His commandment to us - "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind". (Matthew 22:37) It is for our benefit that we return His love.
An excerpt from the book Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers -
"She thought she had been saved by his love for her, and in part she had been. It had cleansed her, never casting blame. But that had been only the beginning. It was loving him in return that had brought her up out of the darkness."
As we turn our attention, our emotions and our love upon Him, it drives out all other lovers. As we focus our love upon Him, we are further healed; we are completed and we find the cares of the world fall away. Things take on a more balanced perspective and we find our trust is increased and our love continues to deepen. We are more grateful; less fretful. He becomes our true focus!
Work in my heart, Lord, to love you more and deeper than I do today. Increase in me that I might decrease!