Monday, June 27, 2011

Week #24 Matthew 22:37 "It's All About Love"

"Jesus replied, "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." "

Listen to these thoughts and ask yourselves if any of this sounds like you. "I don't know how God can bless and use a person like me." "I wish I knew God's will for my life." "How am I supposed to live the Christian life? It's impossible to do!"

Sound familiar? If you're like me, I have found myself saying these things on more than one occasion. A Christian life that is pleasing to God can be a tough one. Sometimes I feel like giving up. It all seems so complicated!

But, wait. Before I throw in the towel and sit out the Christian walk, I need to ask myself the old adage, "What Would Jesus Do?"

Look at the above verse. What DID Jesus do, and what is He telling US to do?

Matthew 22:37 is often times referred to as The Greatest Commandment. It's easy to see why. Jesus summed up (basically) the entire aim of the Christian life in this one sentence. We who call ourselves Christ Followers are to do exactly what Jesus would do: Love God.

Wow...can it really be that simple? Well, yes, it can. Love God. Period.

While that may be simple, it isn't easy. Loving doesn't always come naturally for me. I become selfish. I want to control my life and my surroundings (including the people in my life) to suit my own purposes. I don't always feel loving. I get lazy and can't always do the loving thing. And that's just a picture of how bad I am at loving people.

Loving God is even harder. He's invisible. He can seem silent and distant. He's hard to understand. His ways are not my ways. Sometimes He asks us to do hard things. But Jesus doesn't let us off the hook. He tells us to love God with our entire being. Our hearts, souls and minds are to lead the way.

I can't say that I entirely understand what loving God means. But, God Himself gives us a few clues. As His beloved child, I have experienced what it means to be loved BY God. God always forgives me. God accepts me for who I am. God believes in me and patiently teaches me a better way. Sometimes God disciplines me when I need it. All of these things suggest a logical and natural response from us. That's a good place to start.

And Jesus....He's the greatest role model in history for what it means to love God. He obeyed God unto death...even death on the cross. He is united with God in purpose and lived to please God and do His work on earth.

I am not perfect, I cannot love perfectly like Jesus could. But I can make love my aim (1Cor. 14:1). I can focus on learning to love God better.

So, I guess it's all about love, and the things that love leads us to do and to be. What is God's will for my life? How will God use me to do His work on earth? By showing me how to love.

I can start right now. Even as I write this blog entry, I am experiencing the blessing of being with God, of hearing His thoughts and sharing them (in love!) with others. I can't give any of you specific steps toward achieving The Loving Life. But I can tell you that you, too, can start right now. Spend a little time with God today. Tell Him you love Him and you want to learn to love Him even more. He'll help you. That will give Him joy.

It's that simple. Once you start on your journey toward loving God, He will lead you. All you need to do next is to follow. Then, you will be on your way to understanding God's will for your life and how He can use you for His kingdom. It's all about love, my friends.

Thank you, LORD.

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