I just started this week trying to write a short blog each day based on the Verse of the Day from Bible.com. I obviously don’t have these in advance so I was pleasantly surprised that today’s is one of my favorites. In fact, it was the basis of the most recent book “With All Your Heart.” I hope some of you have had a chance to pick that up either from my site or from Amazon. Anyway, today, it is the same Scripture, but I want to take a different approach.
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”(NIV)
The Pharisees had set out to deceive Jesus into doing something stupid – BIG MISTAKE!!
Anyway, they ask Him which law is the most important and He comes back with this beautiful statement about love and then says all the law hangs on these two commandments. I immediately begin to think of the pictures hanging right above my desk. It was a gift from my son and his wife, a piece of art with Jeremiah 1:5 embossed upon it. I hung it there with two nails. If something ever happens to those nails, the art is falling to the ground and the frame will most likely bust. Without love, the entire Gospel falls to the ground like a million-dollar painting and the framework is destroyed. It’s all about love.
Love has been defined by our culture as a feeling. Yet, we see in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, love is not a feeling. It says that love is patient. But the only time I need to be patient is when I don’t feel patient. If I felt patient, then it wouldn’t be patience 🙂 Love is kind. So the moment I stop being kind to my wife because I don’t feel like it, I am no longer loving her. So, it’s all about love, but love is something we can improve on. Love is also a skill that we can hone. All of life is learning to love better.
We must love better!
This is a huge theme in my life and in all of my teaching. I must love better. I must love with all of my heart, but what does this mean. It speaks of passion and passion is the willingness to suffer for those we love. This is what Jesus did for us on the cross. And this is what we are called to do in bearing one another’s burdens (Colossians 3:13). If someone says or does something to you that is offensive, the offense is cast upon you. You can retaliate and toss the offense back to its original owner or you can hold it and hold your tongue with a spirit of forgiveness. This is bearing the burden in love. This is what it means to love with all your heart.
Think about it. The last time someone offended you, were you able to hold that offense. And for the sake of argument, let’s say that you have a legitimate right to be offended in human terms. If you were not able to hold the offense when someone was actually wrong, how do you expect to not have a negative attitude toward the Lord when He doesn’t do what you think He should? How can you continue to serve Him faithfully, praise Him wholeheartedly, testify to His goodness when you are not happy with what He is allowing to happen. This is loving with all your heart.
Love better today than yesterday
Of course, your heart is also full of the sinful nature and its passions and desires as well. In our attempt to love with all of our heart, it is understood also that we are not perfect. But out goal must continue to be to love perfect and if this is our goal, we must always live to love better. Love better today than yesterday. Love better in the next argument than the last. Love better in tomorrow’s stress than yesterday’s. Love better and see what God won’t do in your life!
Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!