Thomas A Kempis in his classic, The Imitation of Christ, writes:
“Deepen Your love in me, O Lord, that I may learn in my inmost heart how sweet it is to love, to be dissolved, and to plunge myself into Your love. Let Your love possess and raise me above myself, with a fervour and wonder beyond imagination. Let me sing the song of love. Let me follow You, my Beloved, into the heights. Let my soul spend itself in Your praise, rejoicing for love. Let me love You more than myself, and myself only for Your own sake. Let me love all men who truly love You, as the law of love commands, which shines out from You…
Whoever is not prepared to endure everything, and to stand firmly by the will of the Beloved, is not worthy to be called a lover. A lover must willingly accept every hardship and bitterness for the sake of his Beloved, and must never desert Him because of adversity.” – Imitation, p.98 (Penguin Classics)
Take to heart this prayer and make it your own with one qualification: we (like God) are to love all people, and not just those who love Christ. It is out of God’s love for all people that he died with the hope that all people might be saved.
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all…” – 2 Corinthians 5:14