All We Need is Love
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
You shall love– Loving God is an empowered command, therefore, we have the capacity to love well.
See Deuteronomy 30:6, 9-11
Love the Lord your God– Love the Lord as your personal God, for your relationship with him is personal. God has sought or is seeking each of us to be in a loving relationship with him.
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.(Romans 5:8 ESV) In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.(1 John 4:10 ESV)
· God’s love for us is real, it is present, and it is personal. His love is given to us even though he has no need for our love in return. He loves you simply so that you will be loved.
· When we start to understand God’s deep love for us, then we can begin to respond to him and others with genuine love.
· God is not far and removed from us, but is personally involved in every detail of our lives, redeeming and reconciling what is broken.
As God’s love for us is personal, so our love for him must be personal, too.
Loving God is a result of knowing him. If you want to grow in your love for God, you must grow in your personal knowledge of him. We don’t love God more by having more determination to do so; we love him more by determining to know him more. The greater we know God and his love, the greater capacity we have to love others.
Love him… with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind
The “heart” is the seat of our affections and will (devotion). The “soul” is our life, our consciousness, our essence. The “mind” is our reasoning and understanding; it is our intellectual being and abilities.
Love the Lord your God with total devotion (heart), with all of your life, breath and consciousness (soul) and with all of your thoughts focused on him (mind).
You shall love your neighbor as yourself
Again, we find an empowered command “love your neighbor.” It is empowered because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.(Romans 5:5b ESV)
The only person to ever love perfectly was Jesus; he truly loved God the Father with every beat of his heart, with every aspect of his being and with every thought of his mind. In every relationship and every interaction, Jesus revealed love through a compassion act, words of life or of rebuke, or selflessly putting the needs of others before his own. As our lives are surrendered to Jesus, we grow in such expressions of love.
Most of us would consider ourselves loving because we don’t hate. Hate is the opposite of love, yes, but we should also consider indifference just as unloving. In our flesh we have a tendency to be indifferent toward God and others.
“I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.” –Dorothy Day
Growing in love with God (John MacArthur):
· Meditating on God’s glory (Psalm 18:1-3)
· Trust in God’s divine power (Psalm 31:23)
· Seek fellowship with God (Psalm 63:1-8)
· Love God’s law (Psalm 119:165)
· Be sensitive to how God feels (Psalm 69:9)
· Love what God loves (Psalm 119:72, 97, 103)
· Love whom God loves (1 John 5:1)
· Hate what God hates (Psalm 97:10)
· Grieve over sin (Matthew 26:75)
· Reject the world and the things of the world (1 John 2:15)
· Long to be with Christ (2 Timothy 4:8)
· Obey God wholeheartedly (John 14:21)
Loving God comes from being compelled by God.
Love people as we love ourselves. In what ways to do you express self-love? How can these ways become expressions of love applied to others?