The Bible is all about love, for God is love, and in the absence of God there is no love.
In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus reveals to us the greatest commandment. The entirety of Christian teachings hinge on love: love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor. Imagine if we could do just those two things with excellence. What a people we would be! A formidable force for good on this earth.
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:34-40
The Trap of Works
A lot of times we are busy trying to do what we believe is God’s work, organizing this and that, being productive in the natural. In our striving, we forget that it’s all about Christ’s love.
Our Lord knew we might fall into this trap, and in case we got the wrong impression of what matters in our walk with Christ, 1 Corinthians 13 begins with disqualifying all the grand acts that we can perform as worthless if there is no love. The chapter begins:
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
All our works, even with our best efforts put forward, are worthless without love. We have to cultivate love in our daily walk. Mother Teresa said, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”
The Daily Choice
Love is in the daily choices we make. For most of us, there are no grand acts of charity. Instead, there are great choices that reflect love as we put into action the acronym WWJD (What Would Jesus Do).
Love is in those moments at work when a colleague speaks to you in an untoward manner, and just when we are about to put them in their place, you stop and recognize that your fleshly response is not pleasing to God. Then out of reverence for the God we serve, you show them kindness.
Related Post: Even in Politics, Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
Love is in that act of making a pie for someone who has lost their loved one. It is in taking the time to help an elderly person cross the street when we could just walk past. Love is in choosing not to bring up past wrongs when chatting to a family member. It is in choosing to protect the reputation of a workmate rather than spreading a rumor.
All day long, we can choose love.
How beautiful to imagine that the thing God would require of us would be for our benefit. He is changing our hearts to be more like His.
When we consider how great God’s love is, I think of the song “Your Love is Extravagant” by Darrell Evans.
Let’s make a choice to be extravagant in loving God and our neighbors. It is in love that we find our true purpose and make our mark daily for Christ.