Love. It’s that simple.
Valentine’s Day was last week. The annual calendar day when we are told to express love to those close to us. Pretty silly when you think about it. This is one holiday, along with Black Friday, that you could legitimately protest 🙂 . The major winners of us celebrating it are the retail stores and their bottom line! Especially as followers of Christ, we shouldn’t need a day to remind us to show others love because the Scriptures often remind us that love is to be a way of life for us! God is love (1 John 4:8). It only goes to follow that if we are to properly reflect who God is to the world, then we are to have love as our operating system! We are to speak the truth in love (Eph.4:15). Paul reminds us that anything we do is worthless unless it is done out of love (1 Cor.13:1-3).
As we continued in our sermon series on 5 non-negotiable theological truths we embrace, we learned that #4 was The Great Commandments. In Matthew 22 we read: “One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
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.”
Jesus says that the intent of all the various commands and laws is to engage us in loving relationships with God and with others. In Luke’s parallel account of this narrative (Luke 10:25-37) Jesus launches into the parable of the Good Samaritan to define for his questioner who is our “neighbour” that we are called to love. The Good Samaritan plainly tells us that we are to love all people, even our enemies. As followers of Christ, a non-negotiable for us has to be to have our relationships defined by love. There is no room for hate, rudeness, arrogance, resentment, pride, or the like (1 Cor.13:4-7).
Would others say you are characterized by love? If not, today is an opportunity to confess, repent, and ask your Heavenly Father for forgiveness and empowerment. Think about your upcoming day. What do you have scheduled? Who will you be interacting with? Are you bathed in love so that even when the unexpected circumstances and unplanned for relational engagement happen, that your posture is one of love and you will fulfill The Great Commandments today?
Heavenly Father, I pray for every person who reads this blog post. I pray that you conform them more and more to the image of Christ. I pray that in their interactions with others, people will see and feel Jesus. I pray that you will be honoured and lifted up as we learn to treat others the way we wish to be treated. Emblazen the Golden Rule and The Great Commandments upon our hearts and minds that they will be our way of life, and not something second nature that we always need to think about. In Jesus’ name, Amen.