August 25, 2023
Now I ask you, lady, not as though I were writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. (2 John 5-6)
There is no doubt regarding the most important thing in the world. We know this because Christ was asked what was the greatest commandment. Without a moment’s hesitation, he replied.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
The greatest secret of life is to come to know and love God with all of your heart. This is only possible through the miracle of the new birth, coming to Christ in faith, and being born again by His work and Spirit.
This new life in Christ is increasingly experienced by laying aside every false god we love and serve (power, pleasure, materialism, etc.) until we have no other gods in His place. This is our greatest challenge in a world filled with false gods who cry incessantly for our attention.
But how is this measured? How do we know if we love God and others in the way the Father has designed and desires? How do we know if we are in the highest, best place in this life?
KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS
John, the apostle who knew Christ most intimately, writes repeatedly about this. Real love is measured by how we keep God’s commandments.
At first reading, these statements sound a bit rigid. “Love” and “commandments” don’t seem to go together.
But think of this. If I have come to love someone deeply, it means I trust them, follow them, and believe in them. And if we love God—entirely, deeply, with all our hearts—we will listen to Him intently and obey Him instantly and precisely. Our unwavering obedience is evidence of our unwavering love, respect, and honor for the One who loved us first. This is not a duty but a delight. Not obedient acts of servitude but humble responses to the One that we know loves us best. The One we can always trust.
And further, the greatest acts we can ever do for others are to do what the Father says. The greatest gift I can give my family is to love Christ fully and follow Him explicitly. There is no better way for me to lead them. The best protection and provision I can provide for them is my wholehearted following of the Lord. He will lead us in all the right paths. And, if I do not love Him (and all that entails), I will not follow; I will not obey.
Do you love Christ? With all your heart, mind, soul, and strength? Don’t pretend that such love is full if you ignore His direction and disobey His voice. Authentic love obeys. It’s as simple and life-changing as that.
September 20, 2023
September 19, 2023
When you’re lifted up in pride or bowed down in discouragement, look at the stars. Every bright light reminds us that He is God and there is no other. The One who made the stars and knows them by name, made you. And you are of infinite worth to our Sovereign Creator.
“He made the stars also.”
August 31, 2023