Without love, nothing else matters. This is the point that is being made in the beginning of 1 Cor. 13, and is also the point that Jesus is making in Matt. 22:37-40. He starts with love of God, who loved us first and died for us. It is so much more than what we are willing to do for Him… it is about why we do what we do. His love for us drove Him to the cross — the perfect examples of loving with One’s heart, soul, and mind.
When we love God in this way, when we love God with all that we are, it will be seen not just in what we say and do, but in who we are!
“From it (our love of God) stems the ability and desire to love those created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27).”Mounce New International Biblical Commentary, p. 210
Jesus has also made it clear that “our neighbor” is anyone who is around us, even those whom we consider to be enemies (Matt. 5:44). Luke shares the parable of the Good Samaritan as an explanation of what it means to love your neighbor. This would have been a hard teaching, as Jesus was calling them to love those who were culturally different than they were.
This holds true for us today, and is one of the reasons we should seek to be a part of the multiethnic body of Christ.
All human being are created in the image of God, and need to be shown God’s love.
If love is the defining way to know if someone is a disciple of Jesus’, and this call is to love everyone, then we should be seeking opportunities to love all who are created in the image of God.
Love comes from a relationship with God. In Matthew 23, we see what happens when relationship is replaced with religion. God doesn’t not desire for us to be religious, He desires a relationship with us!
Lord, thank You for Your love of us, not just when we love You back, but before we loved You, while we were in rebellion and choosing to be distant from You.
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