November 19, 2011

Passionate Love

“Jesus replied, “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” 
Matthew 22:37-39 

 When did Christians begin taking the cross for granted? We did we begin making Christ’s death upon the cross so insignificant? When did the gospel become about loving people instead of God’s love for us? It is something that I see more and more of everyday. Eyes are being shifted from the cross to a feel good message of love. 

God is love. There is no doubt! How could anyone ever deny that God is love? He sent His only Son to be beaten, mocked and crucified because of His unconditional and unfailing love for every one of us. No one is void of His love. No matter how great the sinner, God is still over the top in love with us all. I believe that!

What I do not believe is that we are here to love other people and that is how we show God that we love Him. Scripture clearly states that we are to love God above all else. We are to love Him with complete abandonment. Everything else in our lives should come absolutely last because we were created for His glory! He should take first place in every area of our lives. 

I realize that people do not like to always hear that message. I admit that there was a time when I did not like to hear that message. Who wants to give up the things of this life that are fun and do not bring Him glory? Where is the fun in life if we have to live that way? People want to put people first. We are selfish beings. The idea of loving someone more than we love ourselves is a huge sacrifice. The idea of putting the morals and values of a higher being before what we want to do is hard not to mention for many, unfair. 

Well here it is people! Life is unfair. No one gets dealt a perfect hand. No one skates through life without trials and storms. It is proven all throughout scripture. It is proven by Christ’s death upon the cross. He is our perfect example. He loved us so incredibly much that He took every lashing without one negative word spoken. He took each beating without one resentful thought. He never questioned His unfailing love for us as His hands and feet were nailed a tree. That my friends, is love. 

We have no clue how to love in that way. It is impossible for any of us to love another with such abandonment on our own. We are too selfish and self-centered for that kind of sacrifice. It is only by loving God with every fiber of our being that we are ever able to reflect the love of God to those around us. By loving Him as we are called to do, with all of our heart, mind and soul, we are then able to love those around us in a way that glorifies Him. If we attempt to love in any other way, we only bring glory to ourselves.

After all that I have experienced in the past two years, I have never more understood the love of God. It is only by this revelation that I am able to forgive those who claimed they loved me but did not live it out. We cannot love others unless we understand the significance of the cross. We cannot understand the significance of the cross unless we love God with all of our heart, mind and soul.

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