Wednesday, January 21, 2009

FINDING THE WAY (pt.2): LOVE ONE ANOTHER

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 'This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. 'All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." ~Matthew 22: 36-40

Why do we do what we do? Why do some devote their lives to doing good towards others? Why are Christians known for their compassion and self-sacrificing more than any other religion? Because the One whom we follow led by example. Jesus Christ demonstrated the greatest act of sacrificial love that mankind has ever known. He suffered and died on the Cross, paying the price for every sin of every human being to ever live. Secondly, he demonstrated a love towards others that He expects us to have. Putting others before self. Teaching us to be humble servants. Desiring for others what we would desire for ourselves.

Our acts of love should be a direct response to our love for God. If we love Him, we will obey His commandments (John 14: 15). As a follower of Christ, our purpose is clear: Glorify God. How we live and what we do with our lives should revolve entirely around this objective. Above all other things, we are to glorify Him by loving Him, obeying Him and honoring Him.

I believe this command from God is likely one of the most difficult things we can do in life. Love is more than a feeling. It's more than doing something nice for someone. Throughout Christ's ministry on earth, He lived an example of perfect love. Reaching out to those in need, serving those who expected to serve Him. Accepting those others rejected. To actually love someone regardless of whether they are lovable or deserving of our love is outside of human understanding. The love God intends for us to have towards others is that we desire for them what we would desire for ourselves (Matt. 7: 12)

Take a moment to think about that kind of love. This is far beyond simply wanting to make someone feel good or bringing a smile to their face. This love requires us to step outside of our human nature. In order for us to wrap our minds around this, there must be a transformation within our very souls. Unless we first love God, it's impossible for us to love others according to His design for love. This ability to love comes through the life-changing experience of receiving Christ as your Lord & Savior. On our own, we are incapable of loving on this level.


"ALL THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS HANG ON THESE TWO COMMANDMENTS"

What did Jesus mean by this?

"Why does he say it in this way? I think what he means is that when you see people love like that (fulfill the Golden Rule), what you are seeing is the visible expression of the aim of the Law and the Prophets. This behavior among people manifests openly and publicly and practically what the Old Testament is about, It fulfills the Law and the Prophets by making the aim visible. Loving God, however, is invisible. It is an internal passion of our soul. But it comes to expression when you love others. So loving other is the outward manifestation, the visible expression, the practical demonstration, and therefore the fulfillment of loving God and therefore of what the Old Testament is about." ~ John Piper "What Jesus Demands from the World"

Basically, our love for God is realized visibly when we sacrificially love others.
This brings a whole new perspective to our role as Christians. In loving others, we are loving Him and fulfilling the purpose of the entire Word of God. Not for our gain or pleasure but for His glory. Everything was created for His glory and everything that we do for Him should be with that same attitude. So then, what are the ways that we demonstrate this love towards others?

(part 3... TRUTH, LIGHT & TESTIMONY)


~ktf~
John

2 comments:

Scott Crownover said...

Amen!

Pastor Terry said...

Hey, this was an outstanding blog. A great commentary on love, my friend!


Terry Michaels
www.strategicbookpublishing.com/ThatIMayKnowYou.html