For a moment, think about a very good friend. The kind that you enjoy being with just "because", whom you go to first with your good news and bad, with whom you have a special connection. Now think about times that they are too busy to take your calls or come over, or just simply drop the ball where you're concerned. Having been there, done that recently, I realized that this is a taste of what God goes through with us.
He loves us; He actually created us "just because" He wants our company, and is willing to forgive us when we fall short. Just imagine how pleased He is when we go to Him with what's on our hearts, and how it must disappoint Him when we ignore Him, when we don't have the time or interest in connecting with Him. I John 4 tells us that He loves us first, and because He loves us, we are able to love Him and to love others. These are all one package! If we respond to His Love, we will want to do the things that please Him, just as well-brought up children want to please their parents. We will want to connect with Him as often as possible, just as we grab our phones to call someone to share good news or ask help with something. We will want to read about Him, and read His Word, just as we want to know more about our family and friends.
I have been doing some geneological research lately, and it is amazing how most of us want to know where we come from--and how much more we should want to know everything we can about our heavenly Father. Jesus tells us that just as we want to give good gifts to our children, He wants the best for us--and that the best is not necessarily what we may think it is. But just as we know that some of our so-called "friends" only hang out with us because of what we can do for them but have no interest in us beyond that, if we expect God to give us what we want because we want it out of our own self-centeredness, we are not loving God for who He really is.
Jesus said that when the self-important religious folks of His day got rewards from the world for being "good" in their own eyes, that is all the reward they will get. If knowing God is not where they're going, they won't get there. If we really let God pour His Love into us, it will reflect back to Him and overflow out of our lives as well.