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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

Introduction to Love

Matthew 5:16 (let your light shine)

Matthew 5:22-24 (reconcile)

Matthew 6:1-8 and Matthew 6:16-25 (righteous deeds and prayers)

Matthew 7:1-29 (judging)

Matthew 16:24 (follow me)

Matthew 18:21-22 (forgive)

Matthew 20:25-28 (serve)

Matthew 22:36-40 ESV

John 15:12 ESV

1 Corinthians 13:8-13 ESV

Romans 8:28 ESV

Jesus commanded His followers numerous times when He walked on earth. While many of the commandments were not declared as such they were still non-negotiable items.

For example, in the book of Matthew when Jesus told His followers include to let their light shine (Matthew 5:16), reconcile with your brothers (Matthew 5:22-24), do not ‘brag’ about your righteous deeds and prayers (Matthew 6:1-8 and 6:16-25), do not judge (Matthew 7:1-29), take up your cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24), forgive 70x7 (Matthew 18:21-22), and be a servant (Matthew 20:25-28) He was commanding them.

While the work command is not always used, it was clearly declared.

While every commandment from Jesus God is to be taken seriously, one commandment is known as the greatest commandment.

In Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus said, “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 first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

A wise pastor I sat with for several years repeatedly said, ‘love God, love people’.

That is scriptural and true.

In the Gospel of John Jesus told His followers, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

Jesus was telling them I love you and have given you the ultimate example of love. Now go and pass that on. Jesus knew passing on Love was the essential key.

He knew ultimately loving God and loving people was the glue that would hold earth together. He also knew if His followers do not choose to love there would be no cohesive unit on earth for people to follow.

In other words, loving God and loving each other is the only thing that will set us apart from other people.

In 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 the Apostle Paul wrote, “Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Paul knew all too well that love would be the only element that would set the ‘people of the way’ apart from other religions and ideologies.

Let me be really clear here about the followers of Jesus…

We are called to a life of love.

Others will not see we are genuine and real if we do not love.

Loving is NOT an easy road because it often requires forgiveness.

Forgiveness is messy business. It’s hard, but it’s necessary.

Forgiveness does NOT mean you become a doormat. Real forgiveness means we tell God we forgive the other person or group. By telling God we forgive them we are giving God permission to take over. Our words of forgiveness spoken to God means we are surrendering the matter into God’s hands. Words of forgiveness set us free.

Know this…because it’s the miracle: You do not need to feel like forgiving them. You do not need to want to forgive them. You only need to speak the words ‘I forgive them’ and God will take care of the rest.

God can do that because God is in the business of creating good from evil. Remember Paul’s words in Romans 8:28, “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Love God.

All things good for the called.

Love one another.

Just like Jesus loves You, LOVE each  other.

Spiritual Practice: Love

Thing of someone you need to forgive. Say to God, “I forgive _____. Ask God to teach you how to love them.

In God, Deborah


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