In Matthew chapter 22, Jesus gives instruction concerning our love for God and the proper perspective for that love.
Matthew 22:36-40 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 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. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
This text explains to us that the greatest goal in life is love. The purpose of love is to establish, build and maintain relationships. The primary relationship that must be established is with God which then enables us to love others. Our capacity to love has the tendency to run out. Our patience and kindness seems to go by the wayside very quickly. But God’s love is without measure and it will establish us and sustain us forever. If we are to know this love, we must study and know the person of God for “…God is love.”(1 John 4:8)
On the other hand, the World has a definition of love that is contrary to biblical love. How does the love the world practices differ from the love of God? The key difference is that God’s love is characterized by giving and sacrifice. The love of the world is focused more on the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. It is more me centered than others centered.
When a person accepts Jesus Christ as Savior, they experience God. They experience the forgiveness of God and they experience a measure of the love of God. This love will grow in our hearts as we develop in our relationship with HIM. The effect of the gospel of Jesus Christ upon the soul compels and constrains the heart of the sinner now saint to love the Creator God who is now our Father. We are compelled. We are drawn to his side. We fall at HIS feet and we are humbled by HIS great love for us. That HE infinite HOLY God would suffer and die for us. As we begin to love God and to know HIS love, that love, the love of God begins to reach out to others.
1Corinthians 14:1a Follow after charity,…. The words “follow after” is one single Greek word which is διώκω diōkō dee-o'-ko; to pursue (literally or figuratively); press toward.
We are to pursue God’s love. We are to press hard after God’s love. Love should be a top priority in our life. It should be a very high goal for our life. But following after God’s love will be a struggle. It will take a pursuit. Pursuit is established and sustained by humility, a right heart attitude toward sin and being willing to allow God to break us of selfishness and pride. By doing this our pursuit will intensify and our love will grow. God will love us to freedom and we will in turn love others.
Remember pursuit in itself is all of Grace. God give’s grace to the humble. Therefore, when God shows us an area of deception in which we are not loving will we humble ourselves and remove this deception or will we continue on in our deceit?
1Corinthians 13:1-3 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
If we do not live a life of love: we will say nothing of value. Our words will be empty and have no lasting affect. The degrees that we receive from the various halls of education, the knowledge that we have acquired will be of no worth to us or anybody else for knowledge without love is of no value. It only reinforces pride. When a person of great intellectual ability, or a man or great oratorical skills is on their death bed, will people come to him and say: Oh please sir, give us that speech one more time.” At the time of passing, the only significant issue will be: “Are those whom I love with me.”
If we do not have God’s love, nothing we say will matter for words without love are simply empty, valueless noises of no worth. If we do not have God’s love, nothing we know or nothing we believe, our faith, will have any worth to anyone in time or eternity. If we do not have God’s love, nothing we give will matter. Even if we give our body to be burned at the stake, that sacrifice will carry no worth in time or eternity without the love of God as the driving force behind that sacrifice. Without love we are nothing. Without Jesus we can do nothing, for our doing is void of HIS love. Is it possible that we need to daily cry out to God for faith and grace to love others as we have been loved by God?