“Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”” Mark 12:29-31“And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Ephesians 5:2“We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19Help me to love, I prayed to God. Such a seemingly small prayer. But so very big. So very important. So very fundamental. For the way of Christ is love. To love God is obedience. To love others is obedience. It is a must if we are to follow Jesus. God’s way is love, yes. But that’s not all. God is love. And if we are to grow in God’s image, which all of us are to do, then we are to grow in love, aren’t we? Are you growing in love? Am I?
Why do I pray this? Why am I sharing this with you? To love is not always so very easy. Sometimes it is so very hard. Sometimes it seems impossible. At times I have been so very mad at God because of my life’s challenges at the time, or because I didn’t get something I prayed for, that I had everything but love in my heart. I had everything but praise in my mind and my mouth. I missed love in my actions. Oh, how wrong I was to be mad at God! I needed to purify myself and love the Lord instead. With all my heart. As He commands us.
At times I haven’t loved others. I have had instead bitterness, hurt, resentment, anger, pride, judgment, jealousy, offense, rage, vengeance, hatred, condemnation, etc., in my heart. Sometimes in my actions, also, a lack of love. Or in my lack of actions. In my withholding from people. In my turning the other way from them. Oh, how I needed to love instead. To forgive instead. To be merciful instead. Oh, how I needed to purify my heart. So I would obey God’s command to love others!
Friend, we must die to self. We must deny self. We must live for Christ. And love at times involves this death. This death to self. Because sometimes the last thing in the world we feel like doing, and sometimes the very last thing in our hearts, our thoughts, our words, and our actions, is love. Love for Jesus. And love for others. So at these times we must learn to say NO to the flesh. To get rid of anything unholy. Ungodly. Anything that is not the love of Christ. We must kill the sin. Demolish it. Purge it from ourselves. Repent from it. And choose instead the love of Jesus. The love supplied to us who follow Jesus by the Spirit of Christ who lives inside His followers. He places His love inside us. We need to use it!
Lord, help me to love! Lord, help us to love! Help us to love like you desire. Like you command. Help us to love you with all our hearts. Help us to love others as ourselves. Help us to humbly purify ourselves of anything unloving. And help us to love instead. To love with your love. With the love you give us. Fill us who follow you afresh with your Spirit. With your love. Pure love, pour it through us Father! Today. And always.
And for those reading this who do not yet believe in you and follow you, bring them to repentance and to faith in you as Lord. Bring them into your Kingdom of forever followers. Draw them by your love. And help them, too, to live in your love. To walk in your love.
I pray for all of us, my God. Help us to love, yes, help us to love in a way pleasing to you, Father, you who loves perfectly. Teach us to love! Teach us the way of love, no matter the cost to our flesh, yes! Oh, Lord, may we obey your greatest commands. May we love! Yes! AMEN!
Courtesy of DAILY INSPIRATION