Monday, 08 May 2023
… “The first of all the commandments is: ‘…… the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’…... And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)
Jesus Christ taught his followers two important commandments of Love—the first being the principle of loving God; the next being the principle of loving others. He emphasized the importance of both by putting them side by side.
Loving the LORD: Before Jesus speaks about loving the Lord, He says, “…the LORD our God, the LORD is one.” It is to the ONLY one God we must give our devotion— He has to be the LORD of our life- the one who has His say in our life! So it’s in the act of entrusting your life fully to the Lord that you express that you love Him. The expressions, all your heart, soul, mind and strength points to every bit of your being involved in loving God!
In John 14:15, Christ said, “If you love me you will obey my commandment.” Obedience is the hall mark of loving God. God’s love is the most wondrous and powerful of all love because it is an everlasting love. This love is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). And our true worship of God comes from an obedient heart, good conscience and a sincere faith.
Loving our “Neighbour”: Jesus explained who our neighbour is through the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)- Any one in need! Our fellow beings! It is Kingdom love which Christ is talking about—a love that is concerned with the highest good of people, from God’s perspective. In the same manner we pay attention to our needs, is the way that Christ has said to extend it to our fellow beings in need.
These commands can be done by us only through the Holy Spirit. Such a love should flow from our heart, overcoming the sinful nature of our soul. Our inner desire was previously led by our sinful nature. When we acknowledge that we are sinners and receive Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, our sinful nature is crucified with Christ and He gives us a new nature. The Holy Spirit begins to work in us to do God’s will in our inner being (heart, soul, mind), giving us strength to express this true love from our being. Christ starts to work in us to Love God the Father and others, with the whole of our being.
The true love of God- “Agape” comes out as a self-giving love that freely gives without asking anything in return and does not consider the worth of its object. This love is more of a choice than a phileo, which is a love by human emotion. God wants to teach His people to love with an Agape kind of Love that comes from choosing with our will to let Holy Spirit love others through us. This love does not depend on one’s mood or feelings as is the case with the human love. Here the Source-giver is God Himself who draws us through the Holy Spirit to love God and love our neighbors.
Let us Pray: Almighty God, help us to daily experience your divine presence to love You with all of our being and love our neighbors through You. In Jesus Christ’s name we pray. Amen.