Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Loving God - His gift and our response

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind"
- Matthew 22:37

"Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men"
-Matthew 4:19

The ideas of loving God, being a disciple, "serving" God, making disciples, and loving each other are intrinsically linked. You must love Christ to follow Him, and, if you truly love Him, you cannot help but point others to your Love.
If you love Him there will be nothing too great for Him to ask of you, nothing too far below or high above for you to attempt for His glory. Loving brings with it an intense desire to be with Him, even if it is at your expense, and to revel in His love.

Some people point to the Great Commission as the main thing Christians should be focused on, as the one thing they must do - I disagree. The way I see it, if you must focus on only one thing in your life, let it be the loving of the Saviour. Everything else in life will sort itself out if you place Him first.

The "second commandment" - Love your neighbor as yourself - naturally falls into place as you delight yourself in the Lord. Even if you were not inclined by nature to be merciful and tender, a knowledge of the heart of God compels you to at least show compassion. He knew each and every one us from before creation, every hair on our heads is numbered, and every single one of us was made to love. His heart calls to ours, ours, by His grace, respond, and out of this flows a holy love for those around us.
It must. "The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love" (1 John 4:8) and "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:11) for who can truly love if they are apart from the only true Love of the world? And who can have Love in them and not let it show?

It is not an easy thing to love with abandon. Loving freely has been a continual struggle ever since Eden. There is a Being in this world who would like nothing better than for you to lose sight of the God who said, "I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jer. 31:3). Satan cannot stand to see Christ glorified and adored, and though he cannot keep God from loving us, he can toss distractions in our paths. That is not to say that every time you miss the alarm in the morning and lose your designated quiet time, Satan has engineered it. But it is true that if we are distracted and busy we often fail to make time for the one thing of importance, loving and delighting in God.

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