God has no beginning, he has no end. He is infinite in glory and majesty. It is in love that he created man so that man will share in his glory. Hence, God created man for heaven, for a vision in which man shall see God face to face as he is. This is the longing of man’s being.
But man is created and placed on earth. His life on earth becomes a homeward journey. Life is also an opportunity to know, love, and serve God. Little wonder we answer in catechism class, “God made me to know him, to love him, to serve him, in this world and to be happy with him forever,” when the question, “Why did God make you?” is asked.
First, from that answer, you cannot talk about loving God except you know him. God is love and knowing him (not just knowing about his attributes) will give you all the reason you need to love him. It is sad that majority of Christians do not know God but know about him. He who knows God and hence loves him will want to show his love for God. Consequently, he serves God. He serves God by the actions he carries out which reflects his love for God.
Second, “forever” in the conclusion of the answer “…and to be happy with him forever” does not start sometime in the future or in heaven. Forever starts now. We are to know God now, love him now, serve him now, and be happy with him now and always. This is eternal life.
We must begin to love God in this life here and now. Heaven is the fulfilment, the fruition of our love for God in this life. But God cannot fulfill something that does not exist in the first place. If our hearts have no love for God while we are on earth, then there will be no love that will be fulfilled in eternity. So, God made us and placed us here on earth so that by loving him, we may lay the necessary foundation for the happiness of heaven.
Anyone who hopes to be united with God in eternity must begin to love God in this life. Heaven would simply not exist for the one who would depart this world with no love for God in his heart. One way to understand this is to consider the plight of a blind man. A blind man cannot see the light from the sun but that does not mean that there is no light from the sun. He simply cannot see it. In a similar way, the man who departs into eternity without love for God cannot see God even though God is there. He has gone into eternity blind. We were made for God and we have continued to long for God. The fulfilment of our being is to behold God face to face. It is despair for one not to be able to see God for eternity; it is hell.
So, he who really wants to see God will have to prove his love for God in this life. There is only one solid way of showing your love for anyone. It is by doing what will please the one you love. Imagine a man and a woman in a relationship. The man relocates in order to complete a programme but he and his partner choose to continue the relationship. The man keeps telling the woman over the phone, “I love you.” But if this man spends his time and money on prostitutes, then he would be a great liar. For by his actions, he shows that he does not have any real love for the woman. If he had, he would be the kind of man his woman would want him to be.
In a similar manner, there is only one way to prove your love for God. It is by doing what God wants you to do; by being the kind of person he wants you to be. It is a serious mistake for many of us to think that our love for God is in our emotions. It is good to sing, clap, and dance to the Lord but that is not the essence of love for God. No, love for God does not reside in the emotions. Love can be felt in an emotional way but again that is not the essence. Love for God resides in the will. It is therefore not how you feel toward God but in what you are willing to do for God that you prove your love for God.
The more you do for God in this life, the greater will be your happiness in heaven. Let your will through your actions prove your love for God. This is why you are here.