THE COMMAND TO LOVE
Thursday, 16 May 2019
Mark 12 : 28-44
“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.’ ……‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’…..” -Mark 12: 30-31
“Love” is a word most misquoted and misunderstood by many today, almost such that it is uttered devoid of its real meaning and used as a rubber stamp. There can be no real love for God and others if it is not grounded on a decision but on emotion. If Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God and love others, how are we to appropriate it in our lives?
The command says to love the LORD with all your heart, soul, mind and strength— the “heart” being the seat of understanding; the “soul” being the center of our will and personality; the “strength” being the energies of all vital powers; the “mind”, being the seat of thought. (Barnes:e-sword). Thus, it implies that with a totality of our being, we are to love God. It is to make up our mind decisively to love God- that He would be the first Person in our lives that we would give our allegiance to, as an acknowledgment of the fact that we live, we move, and we have our being in Him alone! It is in saying each day of our lives, from the bottom of our hearts, “LORD, without You, I am nothing; I am totally dependent on You!”
God first demonstrated His love in that while we were still sinners, He loved us and gave His Son, Jesus Christ to save us (Romans 5:8). 1 John 4:19 [TLB] says, “So you see, our love for him comes as a result of his loving us first.” Christ’s love for us in giving Himself for us that we might be made right with God helps us to give ourselves for others – we no longer live for ourselves but for others (2Cor.5:14-15). We can love others as His love is poured into our hearts by His Spirit (Romans 5:5). Our love for God spills out in loving others because the God who is love lives in us. In loving others, we first want to see them saved, that they come to the saving knowledge of Christ Jesus. Hence, we are compelled to be ministers of the gospel.
Loving others also call for the same degree as loving ourselves. By nature, man is selfish, looking to his interests first. But a person who is in Christ gradually learns to look for the interests of others too (Philippians 2:4)- this is Christ-like love demonstrated through us. Love is the only thing that is multiplied when it is “divided!” The more we give it away, it comes back multiplied. Today we are surrounded by a world full of self-interests and motives but we can make a difference by being channels of Christ’s love to another by a word or deed of love that can point him or her to the Saviour!
Would we examine our lives to see if the real love for God and others is in us? Jesus said in John 14:15: “If you love me, obey my commandments.” If we say we love Him, let us learn to obey what His Word speaks to us today- Love God and love those who need the expression of His love- whether it be those near us or those that long to see a loving Saviour through us!
Thought for the Day:
“GOD is love. Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in him.”
1 John 4:16
Listen- ‘Here I am’
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