“Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”” Mt. 22:37-40…………..
Now I don’t know about you, but I always thought love is an emotion and that love is an action. Both. And I thought about love in terms of people loving me, and in terms of my loving others. Then the Lord drew me to Himself, saved me (Eph. 2:1-10), adopted me into His forever Kingdom, into His eternal family, to begin an everlasting relationship with Him, sealed me with His Holy Spirit, subsequently baptized me with His Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5), led me into His Word after a long period of not understanding the need for it, to study it and to live by it, connected me to fellow Christ followers to be solidly immersed in His Body, and began to teach me the way of love. His way. And what love really is, what love really looks like, and what love really does. The kind of love He desires. The kind of love He requires. The kind of love He commands. The kind of love which brings Him praise, honor, and glory. Love like this.
The Lord, who loves us first, commands us to LOVE HIM (1 John 4:19), and to LOVE OTHERS as ourselves. He does not command us to LOVE SELF; He commands us to deny self (Luke 9:23) and to LOVE HIM and to LOVE OTHERS. He also calls us to LOVE IN ACTION, IN DEED, IN SERVICE to HIM and TO OTHERS (1 John 3:18). We can SAY we LOVE HIM, but Jesus makes clear LOVING JESUS means OBEYING JESUS (John 14:15). We can SAY We LOVE OTHERS, but the Lord makes clear we need to LOVE IN DEED. In WHAT WE DO.
But let’s go a vitally important step further. God commands us above all else to LOVE HIM WITH ALL OUR HEARTS, SOULS, MINDS, and STRENGTH (Mark 12:30). But isn’t it enough to LOVE IN ACTION? NO! He wants us to LOVE HIM and TO LOVE OTHERS right down to our VERY THOUGHTS, IN OUR INNERMOST BEING, INSIDE US.
Going through the motions of LOVING GOD, like going to church, reading the Bible, calling ourselves Christians, volunteering at church, singing songs of praise, etc., without LOVING GOD IN OUR HEARTS AND MINDS, loving Him sincerely and genuinely, is NOT the love to which the Lord calls us, nor is what He commands us in the way of LOVING OTHERS simply to do good deeds and nice things and to simply go through the motions of loving people merely on the outside in our actions. THE LORD WANTS OUR LOVE FOR HIM AND OTHERS to BEGIN IN OUR HEARTS AND MINDS, and for us to continually PURIFY OUR HEARTS AND MINDS so that what we think about, and what we feel, reflects HIS LOVE, and is rooted in THE LOVE OF CHRIST, and is MANIFESTED OUTWARD in how we REALLY LOVE GOD and in how we REALLY LOVE OTHERS.
Friend, please don’t simply go through the motions of LOVING GOD and LOVING OTHERS. Let your LOVE FOR HIM and your LOVE FOR OTHERS be founded in your heart and mind and be CHRIST’S LOVE IN YOU and CHRIST’S LOVE THROUGH YOU all FOR THE GLORY OF GOD!