We hear a lot about “love,” both in and out of the church here in America, and even around the world. People say they love their pizza, dog, sports, spouse, and even Jesus. But what did the King of Kings say about it?
Mark 12:29-31 reports:
Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ “The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Did He say all? Like 100%? All your heart? All your soul? All your mind? All your strength? How many times have both you and I run over these words quickly without reflection in the Spirit or then letting them settle down in the deepest part of our beings?
What do you love with 100% of who you are?
Someone (spouse, family) or something (job, even ministry) more than Him? Jesus already knows. He also hates sticky sentimentality that refuses to suffer and walk worthy for His cause. He’s a jealous God and desires us wholeheartedly (James 4.5). His feelings run deep beyond imagining. He is very emotional. He is a real, live Person. He’s there watching and feeling your heart as you read this, even now.
We should be acutely aware He will not share our top affections with no one. For instance, I love my family deeply. A lot. But I have to guard that they don’t become an idol that eclipses my love for the Savior. It can happen easily. So I cry out to God frequently to increase my heart for Him. Then, as the Spirit answers, I can most likely keep them in proper perspective.
What is the Spirit saying to you these days about His love?
About how you love Him, His Body, the lost and dying world going on to eternal torment in hell? What is the conviction that Jesus is placing in your heart right today? Will you act upon it with the Helper?
Do some things probably need to go?
Is there something else you need to do, or stop doing? Has someone or something eclipsed your 100% “all” love for Him, the God who died for you?
Cry out to the Father, so the Holy Spirit will increase your heart and those around you for more of Jesus. It’s a prayer He always answers. Trust Him to do it. Wait and watch as He transforms you. Praise Him in thankfulness for it, even before He accomplishes it. Tell all you know about it. Tell us about it, please! For proper obedient love, as He showed it, is the greatest thing in reflecting His holiness through His Spirit in you.
“But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor. 13:13
From the book, Bold Love, by Dan Allender:
If Christ had practiced the kind of love we advocate today, He would have lived to a ripe old age…
And from Clarence Tucker Craig:
In the gospel tradition the word “love” is not prominent by any statistical standard. It is clear that the religious vocabulary employed by Jesus was not characterized by sticky sentimentality. He did not ask people to become emotionally attached to Himself. He demanded sacrificial obedience to the cause of which He was devoted. To love Him was not merely to “like” Him but to live for the things for which Jesus Himself had lived and died….
He preferred to speak of God as the object of man’s faith and trust. Man is not to approach God with sentimental emotion, but with obedient trust…. Christian love is not a sentimental emotion, but an ethical imperative….
We must also develop three particular aspects of love which are stressed in Biblical teaching: (1) Love is the fulfillment of the law; (2) Love is the bond of perfectness; (3) Love is the foundation of brotherhood.
He wouldn’t have commanded 100% love if it were not possible in the Spirit. Can we do any less for Him who died for us?
Please comment on this post right below. Feel free to write and proclaim your leadings in the Spirit in an honorable fashion.
Your friend and brother in fighting the good fight,
Saints, we’re one day closer to Home, and Him! Love Him wholeheartedly!
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Marc White, Director, Walk Worthy Ministries, www.WalkWorthy.org