Reason 1. To Love God

God gave himself for us, because He loves us.  We should want freedom from sin because of how much God has done in order to give it to us.  And our response to God’s mercy, power, and forgiveness is to love Him back. This is the number one reason to want freedom: so we will grow in our love for God, unhindered by our shame, guilt, and distorted sense of who we are.

Thankfulness is one of the best ways to love God, because it shows Him we know and believe what has been done for us, and that we deserved none of it.

Romans 1:21
Because having known God, they did not glorify Him as God or give thanks, but became futile in their thoughts, and their senseless heart was darkened. (NT Transline)

The absence of thankfulness correlates with an absence of humility, and a lack of self-awareness of our own sinfulness.  If you don’t believe you have sinned grievously, against God and others, then you won’t be thankful for what Jesus has done.  And your mind darkens, and your thoughts become futile.  Here, ‘futile’ also can be translated as ‘worthless.’  The unthankful ones become focused on worthless things in this life, because they can’t see through the fog that has clouded their minds from the amazing love of God.  Sound familiar?

This is why many people don’t get saved.  It’s also why many Christians don’t get free.

So we want to be free to love the One who first loved us.  Maybe this is why the greatest commandment is what it is, to love God with all our heart.  And it doesn’t feel like a command so much as an exhortation with authority, once you’ve spent some time setting your mind on the things in God’s presence. Jesus calls this the heart of the Law:

Deut 6:5
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  (NAS)

Much can be said about what it means for us to love God, but for now, we will view it simply as one aspect of living in freedom.  It is a command, and a goal for anyone who has tasted God’s love for us.  But it’s hard to love anyone, let alone God, if we see ourselves as filthy, undesirable, full of sin, and imprisoned in shame and guilt.