I love chocolate. I love to take walks with my hubby. I love my husband deeply. Three kinds of love, yet, we use the same word for each. I might choose different words and rephrase my sentences: “Chocolate excites my tastebuds. I enjoy taking walks with my hubby. My love for my husband causes me to bless him.”
How do I know that my husband loves me? By his thoughtfulness – his actions. Some of you may remember that I had a bicycle accident a month ago. I am still recovering from it, and have to keep my leg propped up. Sunday morning, I found my pillow on top of some plastic boxes under my desk, waiting for my swollen leg to rest on it. He hadn’t said a word but had lovingly placed it there for me to find when I sat down to write. A simple act of love that made me smile and thank him.
“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:9-10, NLT).
God’s love, agapē, intentionally takes action to benefit others. God’s love aligns with His divine will. This type of love gives all for the benefit of others. God sent His only begotten Son to take your sins and my sins upon Himself to pay the price for our sins, which was the wrath of God. Jesus loves you and me. Imagine Jesus’ Father pouring out His wrath upon His Son for our sakes, so that you and I could live with them in eternity. What love!
We are recipients of that love. What is our response to that love?
When a Pharisee asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment, “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.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40, NLT).
Love with ALL my heart, ALL my soul, ALL my mind. How do I do that?
“The Bible calls us to wholehearted, life-encompassing, community-impacting, exclusive commitment to our God.” (John Piper).
Loving God with my total being is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit as we surrender our hearts, souls, and minds to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We must present our bodies as living sacrifices, (Romans 12:1-2). We still walk in this world and will stumble, but we have the assurance that the Holy Spirit will cause us to see our sin, prompt us to ask for forgiveness, and guide us back to our commitment to God.
“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:12-13, NLT). When we love God with all that we have, we will naturally love His creation and our neighbors.
True love is a choice to glorify God and make a difference in the lives of others.Tweet
Father, You know our hearts, our souls, and our minds. We want to love You with our ALL, but we stumble with this. The cares of this world surround us and tempt us. Holy Spirit, make us hunger and thirst for more of the Father, for more of Jesus, for more of You. Bring us closer to this kind of self-sacrificing love that makes a difference and points others to Jesus. In His name, we pray, amen.
“Love God with Your Everything” (John Piper)