"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 the great commandment. And the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" Matthew 22:37-39
In the world, the word "love" is used loosely: "I love my watch"; "I love your outfit!"; "I love going to the lake"; "I love the color blue". The very definition of love is so watered down in our society that it's hard to grasp the real meaning of it!
But the bible says that "GOD IS LOVE" (1 John 4:16). God's very character is love!
"He who abides in love abides in God, and God in him" (1 John 4:16 continued)
Love is what motivated God to create us, to sustain us, to save us. Love is what motivated God to REDEEM us through His Son Jesus Christ: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16
God loves us, and commands us to love others as we love ourselves. I find this to be the most difficult of all commands because of the very meaning of it.
Loving my husband? My children? My family? My friends? Easy.
Loving a nice person or acquaintance? Easy...in a rather surface sort of way.
Loving the person who just cut me off on the freeway? Loving the person who hurt my child? Love someone who intentionally sabotaged my work or goals? Loving my enemies? Honestly? Impossible. Not at all within the realm of my thinking.
God says "your neighbors". That doesn't mean the people that live next door to me. That means all people, all people, that cross my path. The good. The bad. The ugly.
Without the Holy Spirit, this is, in my own flesh, impossible. I can be easily angered, frustrated or otherwise irritated with...people! The very fact that there is such a thing called "road rage" supports the fact that our society is very much in need of a good dose of this particular fruit of the Spirit.
We are to pursue this fruit with a passion. We need to pray every single day that God will replace all traces of hate, malice, and anger toward our fellow man with love. His love. The kind of love that can only come from knowing our Maker and pursuing a daily walk with Him.
"Lord Jesus, fill my heart with your love. Search my heart, Lord, and where ever you find hate, malice, anger or hardness, soften it with your sweet, overwhelming love. Give me Your Spirit of love...please, through me, love my family, my friends, my neighbors, the drivers on the freeway, all strangers you cause to cross my path this day.Be my strength and source of love. Amen."
NEXT TIME (monday am): What love does/doesn't do.