LUKE 10:27 – And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
THEME OF THE DAY. HOW WOULD WE KNOW? Today’s scripture should be familiar to us. It contains the two greatest commandments given by our Lord to His people. Jesus went further and said, “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:40). The Apostle Paul would add, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). Going back to our Lord, He would take the command to love to its greatest extreme – the true mark of being His disciple – “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). Friends, let these truths sink into our hearts and minds. Please, don’t do a quick read and move on. The importance of what we are encountering today cannot be overstated or repeated too much. Just think for a moment how easy it is to say or hear another Christian say, “I love God”. I have said it. I have been in conversations where I have heard that statement, yet, how would we know? I mean, really, what would be the validating evidence in my life, your life, that it is really true when we say, “I love God”? What would be present in our lives revealing we really are loving God and people and not living self-deceived and missing the whole of the Christian life? It is a question with substantial Biblical answers. Let’s consider two among many.
First, we would know if we truly love God and people by how passionate and purposeful we are in obeying the commands of God. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Today is Friday. Do a quick check on the past week, not all the errands we accomplished or the “to do list” items ticked off, but how many commands in God’s Word did we obey? Here are two that reveal an obedience validating our love for God and people; And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near (Hebrews 10:24-25). Did we obey the command to “encourage” another believer this week? Or did we remain in our own self-centered world and neglect this command? The other command is “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Well? How did we do this week in carrying another believer’s burdens? If not, why not? Remember, our love for God is only validated by our rightly motivated obedience to His commands.
Another indicator in our lives if we love God and people obeying the Greatest commandments is where our investments of ourselves and resources is primarily located – earth or heaven. Like the first point, this one is extremely important and revealing; revealing in the sense it shows where the affections of our hearts are attached – the Lord and heaven or self and this world. Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). We will know if we really do love God and people by how much of ourselves and resources are invested in what will last forever – spiritual investments in people. If our “free time” is gobbled up on earthly things at the expense of spiritual things, our love for God and people is small at best.
Do we love God and people in obedience to His commands? Maybe. Maybe not. Let’s evaluate our lives based on the scripture and find out if we do or not.
PRAYER: “Father, let me not be self-deceived thinking I love You and people without purposefully obeying Your commands.”
QUOTE: “Love for God and people is never passive. It is active, sacrificial, consistent, and is to guide every day we live .”