The goal of a believer is to love like Jesus. This is such a simple statement to make; yet it is so difficult to live out. Jesus explains in Matthew 22:37-39 the weight of love. “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.” Nothing is more important than love to Jesus. If there is one thing that every Christ follower should be focused on and be focused on improving, it is in the area of love.
What does it mean to love God? He is our creator, everything that we are is from Him; so what does He want from us? Potentially the most beautiful thing that God ever gave us was free will. Meaning, although He created us, we are not required or ‘programmed’ to love and follow Him. What God ultimately wants from us is our decision to live completely for Him, and the action to back up that decision. More important than the decision is the action; and the action is to love God. Loving God doesn’t mean not sinning, it means when we fail or fall short, getting right back up and continuing to run after God because we love Him not because it is what we are supposed to do.
Loving Your Neighbor
You may ask: “who is my neighbor?” Your neighbor is anyone that you encounter throughout any given day. Believer, non-believer, even people who curse you, your neighbor is anyone you cross paths with in a day. Your neighbor is also the person that you are closest to, including family. Sometimes family can be the most difficult group of people to love. The way that you love and treat people is a direct reflection of how deep your love and relationship is with God. Example, if you treat people poorly, whether they are family, friends or just the person you cross paths with during the day; I’d bring up the argument that you may not be in the right place in regards to your love of God.
You may be saying “You don’t know how some people in my family have treated me.” or “You don’t understand what the people at my job are like.” and you’re right, I don’t. However, I do know that God sent His son Jesus to die for us when we were all sinners and living contrary to His word and to the way He asked us to live. God sent His son to take the place of our disobedience so that we could truly love God again even though each of us are far from perfect. If God can love us through our mess, we can love others through theirs.
That’s the kind of love that we are supposed to mimic in our lives and in the way we treat others. Unconditionally, and regardless of their actions, just like the love that God has shown us. Allow your love for God to overflow into the way that you love the people around you. Fall so deeply in love with God that you become more loving to those around you, just as He is loving. No matter how people treat you or how you feel, above all else put on love! Today as we go on living our lives and our days, lets remember to love like Jesus.