And He said to him, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Most everyone seems to understand that life is really only meaningful if you give and receive love. A life without love is simply empty and without purpose. Why is this? We as humans are made in the image of God for the very purpose of relating to God in faith and love. A life without love for people is truly hollow and sad. What exactly does God mean by “love” as in the verse above from Matthew? When God speaks of love toward us, or what we are to express back to Him or to other people, it is more about sacrifice and unconditionally seeking the best for someone. Of course emotions are involved, but it is much more than that. The common use of “love” in our culture is mostly emotional, which is very volatile and unstable at best; this is why people “fall in and out of love” so easily and wonder why relationships lack depth and the ability to persevere over time. God wants us to experience much more in the way of love in all our relationships, especially with Him. The problem is, we cannot give to others what we have never received or experienced. Until we accept God’s love and forgiveness by faith, we cannot really offer it back to Him or to any other person. We must first come to the end of trying to earn God’s love and favor, and just accept His proclamation of love as demonstrated by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. (Romans 5:8) Once we truly believe this and let it sink into our soul, we can begin to let His Spirit transform and purify us in how we relate to God and people. Have you accepted that Christ died for you and loves you despite all your sin, and that if you surrender to His love, He will change you into the very likeness of Jesus in character? If not, why not let Him do so today? It is a life-changing and eternity-changing decision!
Love in Christ,
Pastor Gary Houdek