Saturday, January 15, 2011
Breathe After God
Mar 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. Mar 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
The first and greatest commandment is for us to love God, heart, soul, mind and strength.
Love is one of those words that we all seem to have a good sense and grasp of, but cannot really define. We sometimes think of love as an emotion. I believe that love is much more than mere emotion, it is a decision, yea, and even much more than that.
Here, love comes from the Greek word Agapao, which means to breathe after. As the Psalmist said, his soul longs after God like the deer pants after the water brook.
I believe that this kind of love that we are to have for the Lord entails longing, desire, need, emotion and choice.
Well, that kind of love is much deeper than the kind rendered by most of the people who say they love God.
I suppose I ought to examine the depth of my love for the Lord also.
The Saviour said that if we love Him, we will keep His commands. Our passage today points us directly to the command that follows on the heels of loving God. That is, to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Another definition is in order here. “Neighbor” means our fellow man. Specifically, the one that is nearest at the moment or in whatever instance is to be that target of our love. The guy or gal who lives next door (our strict definition of ‘neighbor’) may or may not be the one in deepest need of Christian love. The person Jesus is talking about is the one He brings into your path who is in need of God's love working though you.
We ought to think about what love does. I Corinthians 13 is the definitive chapter on how love is displayed. You know it, but perhaps you may wish to reread it. Suffice it to say that godly love transforms situations as well as souls.
Dionne Warwick was right when she sang, "What the world needs now, is love, sweet love."
The greatest love I can think of includes giving, even the giving of our life for another. That is how much God loved us. The giving of the gospel would be the most needful thing for our neighbors
Let's do some commandment keeping today by loving God and loving our neighbor.