In one of the last messages Moses gave to the people of Israel, he told them to obey all the commands of God and to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5). About fifteen hundred years later, Jesus referred to this as the greatest of all commandments and then added: “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commands” (Matthew 22:39-40). The commands to love God and love others summarize how God desires us to live (this sentence is worth reading again!).
On the evening before He was crucified, Jesus gave His disciples a final command.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
In this command, we are not all being called to physically die for one another; this one time action would actually be relatively easy compared with the true meaning of His command. The general call from Christ is for us to daily “lay down” our lives by dying to our self gratification and considering the needs of others more important than our own (Philippians 2:3-4). And as opposed to a one time event for a select individual, we are being called to daily lay ourselves down for ALL – even when others are not deserving…even when they have not earned our love.
We are commanded to love as God first loved us. His love was with total commitment and sacrifice; “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son” (John 3:16). His love was with absolute compassion and forgiveness; “God demonstrated His love in this! While we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
The Apostle John spent almost 60 years pondering the words of his Savior and then concluded that love was the one characteristic which identifies us as a true believer; “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death” (1 John 3:14).
Yes, we are to love as Jesus loved. This means we should love without consideration of economic, social, or ethnic class. We should love cross gender, cross race, cross culture, and EVEN cross religion! Without ever compromising the message of Truth, we must begin to view others through the eyes of Jesus, remove the barriers, and make the time to truly love. Let’s begin to open our heart to those in need. Let’s learn to lay down our life and love with a greater love.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Apr 29 Judges 9:22-10:18; Luke 24:13-53; Psalm 100:1-5; Proverbs 14:11-12