Happy February! It’s a brand new day and a brand new month and I am so thankful to God for it. This month, there are many holidays, celebrations, etc. that we observe, but I wanted to focus solely on one thing this month: LOVE.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, how cliché!”
But hold up!
How many of us crave love or want to give love in some form or capacity?
With that being said, why don’t we learn from our Father in Heaven what it means to love, how we’re supposed to love, and most importantly what love is.
Scripture: 34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.‘ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22: 34-40
Observation: Although the question asked may have come from curiosity or to tempt, Jesus gave the answer that covered the basis of all law. He told us to love God with every fiber of our being, which is our heart, soul, and mind. Loving God is always first which includes knowing to not put any other thing before Him (Exodus 20:3-5). Secondly, Jesus called us to love our fellow brothers and sisters like we love ourselves. Check out 1 John 3:16. Overall, the two commandments that Jesus spoke among the people were the foundation for all the other laws written. They could not follow everything else if they didn’t love the Father or the people.
Application: Now that we know the greatest commandments of the Law, how do we carry this out? Jesus told us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (vs. 37). To do this, we have to allow God to move in our lives on every level. With our hearts, we seek the Lord daily to develop a lasting relationship (Psalms 24:6). In learning more of God, his Word penetrates our soul and transforms us. We realize that He has been faithful to us, even when we were not; who wouldn’t love a God like that? (2 Timothy 2:13). However, we can’t let our love stop there. In the same passage, we are called to love our neighbors, the surrounding people, strangers or not. Not to just love them, but to love them the way we want to be loved. What does love look like among fellow man? We look out for each other. We take care of each other. We are helpers one to another (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Take into account that the self-love described here is not selfish self-love. Our society tends to lean towards the “I’m gonna do me, and you do you” mentality, but this self-love requires an awareness of who we are and takes into account the welfare of ourselves. Self-love should reflect in love we share for others: to build, to grow, to learn.
Prayer: Father in Heaven, I am so grateful for the love you have given us. Thank you for teaching us the greatest commandments of all: to love you and to love others as we love ourselves. Lord, I ask right now that if I struggle with any of these that you help me. Help me learn to love you more. Help me love others. Help me love myself so I can love others. God, I know that your love covers a multitude of sins, so let me operate only in the love of Christ. I pray that even now my heart is changing to be more compassionate than I was before. Thank you, God, for showing me the way to love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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