Friday, May 11, 2018

The Two Most Important Things You Can Do - Love God - Love Others

…add to your…brotherly kindness love. —2 Peter 1:5, 7

{CHAMBERS} “Love is an indefinite thing to most of us; we don’t know what we mean when we talk about love. Love is the loftiest preference of one person for another, and spiritually Jesus demands that this sovereign preference be for Himself (see Luke 14:26). Initially, when “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5), it is easy to put Jesus first. […] The first thing God does is forcibly remove any insincerity, pride, and vanity from my life. And the Holy Spirit reveals to me that God loved me not because I was lovable, but because it was His nature to do so. Now He commands me to show the same love to others by saying, “…love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). He is saying, “I will bring a number of people around you whom you cannot respect, but you must exhibit My love to them, just as I have exhibited it to you.” This kind of love is not a patronizing love for the unlovable— it is His love, and it will not be evidenced in us overnight. Some of us may have tried to force it, but we were soon tired and frustrated.[…] Love is spontaneous, but it has to be maintained through discipline.”

{ELGIN}  Matthew 22:37-39 says love God – first – and then love others.  It all starts with our devotion to God.  Loving others is more than an emotion – it’s an action.  It’s independent of the ones we are loving and totally dependent upon the One who loves us.  (1 John 4:19) “We love because He first loved us.”  That love is declarative about the nature of God. (John 13:34-35) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Why would the world know that?  Because of the nature of the love that we show to each other and the world.  (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

Loving like that is not something that you can conjure up by your own will power.  It is contrary to your old nature.  Instead you would like to be selective about who you love and how you show that love.  Only giving it out to those you deem as deserving.  Lucky you are not God because we would all be going to hell if you were – since none of us deserve salvation.  You loving others is motivated by your love for God and your submission to the Spirit of God.  Don’t try to justify why you withhold it.  There is only one reason … you are not loving God the way you should … so how can you possible love others the way you should … you can’t. And you won’t.  So be careful.  Be watchful. And be ready to proclaim the glory of God by how you love others.  God loves you!

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