EPHESIANS 6:24 – Grace be with all who have undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.”
THEME OF THE DAY: THREE MARKS OF LOVING THE LORD. It is why we were created. It is why we are saved. It will be our purpose and privilege throughout eternity in the new heavens and earth. And it makes perfect sense! This “it” is the Great Commandment given by the Lord Jesus – “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command” (Matthew 22:36-38). We are a chosen people called to love God, and He has not left us to ourselves to figure out what that looks like in the day-to-day life as His children. Here are three marks in the believer living out the command to love God with all our being.
First, a life loving the Lord is consistently and intentionally obeying His commands. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commands” (John 14:15). It is important we start here. The whole of the Christian life is God granting us the power and desire to obey Him, but here lies the danger. We are not likely guilty of sins of commission. We are not going to go about our day sinning on purpose. Our problem will not be sins of commission but of omission, and particularly of intentionally putting into action the commands of God, and that regardless of our feelings. Remember, obedience doesn’t just happen. There is no “cruise control” Christianity. We obey on purpose which means we love the Lord on purpose.
Next, loving the Lord means loving His people – all of them and that impartially. The Apostle John wrote these penetrating words – If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen (1 John 4:20). Take this very seriously for it is. We cannot love God and not love His people. And this love will be shown in action and desire for togetherness in the things of the Lord.
A third mark in a person loving the Lord is an increasing hatred of sin and distancing from sin. The Psalmist states, “O you who love the Lord, hate evil!” (Psalm 97:10a). Where new birth occurs so come new desires. We love what the Lord loves and hate what the Lord hates. True Christians professing love for Christ will be living lives fighting and hating sin, not tolerating and enjoying sin.
Loving the Lord. It is why we are Christians and to do so goes beyond feelings. It includes lives of progressive obedience, increased love for God’s people, and a growing hatred for and avoidance of sin. Let’s pray the Lord grants greater zeal to prove the reality of our words, “I love You, Lord.”
PRAYER: “Father, help me to evaluate my love for You by what You say it is and not what I think or want it to be.”
QUOTE: “Love for the Lord is not in words, but manifested in obedience to Him, love for His people, and hating evil.”
Because of Him,