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LOVE

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. Matthew 22:37

The first and great commandment is still the benchmark for the believer. Our Lord deserves and commands our love, but beyond that demands that He alone occupies the preeminent place in our lives (1 John 4:19; Colossians 1:18).  How much do we love the Lord and His Christ? Does all mean all? What does it mean to love our God?  

Jesus said that if you love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15). So love is, obviously, demonstrated through obedience to His word (John 15:10). What are some commands that the church should consider? There are a myriad of examples, but to name a few, think about what we should “flee”, such as, “fornication” (all sexual immorality) - 1 Corinthians 6:18, “idolatry” (all worldly desires) - 1 Corinthians 10:14, and “youthful lusts” (all selfish ambition) - 2 Timothy 2:22.

What comes after the admonition to run from evil passions in 2 Tim. 2:22 is the exhortation to pursue “righteousness, faith, charity, peace” and notice the last clause, “with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” In order to love God with all our hearts they must remain clean and directed toward the things of God. Surrounding ourselves with those that are seeking godliness will greatly benefit us, and not setting any wicked thing before our eyes will guard our hearts and minds from becoming divided (Proverbs 4:23-27; Psalm 101:3-6). Also, we must learn to “gird up the loins of our mind”, and think on things that are “true. . . honest. . . just. . . pure. . . lovely. . . and of good report” with a mind that is singly upon the Lord in love for Him (1 Peter 1:13-16; Philippians 4:8). Then, we must seek to have our souls maintained in love through right relationships of life. If we love God we will love others as well. For example, the marriage relationship is highlighted in 1 Peter 3:1-7 as of necessity to maintain in order for prayers to God to go unhindered. The interpersonal relationships of this life reveal the depth of our soul’s relationship with God.

Oh, that our hearts would be purified by His Word, our minds would be saturated with thoughts of His goodness, and our souls resting on His promises.

Matthew 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
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