| Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…Love your neighbour as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hand on these two commandments.” -Matthew 22:36-40
How many times have you heard the word, “love,” in the past week? I lost count after about twenty. Amongst the twenty I heard, the objects of the love varied from people to music, from shoes to movie actors, from God to excel spreadsheets, from hair to cars, etc. When the Lord called us to love Him with all of our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbours as ourselves, was this the kind of love He was referring to? Was it the kind of love that could be used interchangeably between excel spreadsheets and God? Between shoes and our neighbours? I don’t think so.
In 1 John 3:18, we read, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” The love that Jesus was referring to was much more than an emotion or euphoric feeling. He was talking about the love that causes us to deny everything, take up the cross and follow Him. He was talking about the kind of love that leads us to choose obedience to Him over convenience. He was talking about the kind of love that moves us to compassion and action when we see a brother/sister in need. He was talking about the love the takes us out of our comfort zones, the kind of love that gives sacrificially, the kind of love that says, “Here am I, send me!” He was talking about the kind of love that says that “Whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of knowing Christ.” He was talking about the kind of love that lays down His life for others. Do you know this love?
I have experienced this kind of love, and it overwhelms me. To know that even in my imperfection, even when I felt completely unlovable, even when I fell short, even while I was lost in sin, someone loved me enough to endure a cross and die for me. After all that, I constantly turned my back on Him, turning to other things, and in amazing love, He still beckons me to come back so that He can change my heart and restore me!
How are we to respond to this kind of love? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind snd love your neighbour as yourself.” What does this response look like for you?
I leave you with the words of Oswald Chambers, "If what we call love doesn’t take us beyond ourselves, it is not really love. If we have the idea that love is characterized as cautious, wise, sensible, shrewd, and never taken to extremes, we have missed the true meaning."
Grace and peace be with you.
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