Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Love's Command

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 22:37-39

Jesus didn’t give us the great suggestion, but the great commandment. He taught us by word and example to love God extravagantly and then to love people. Christ loves every individual equally. He shows kindness to the good and the evil alike. Jesus said of God that, “He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). This means God blesses the good and the bad. We are also commanded to love friend and foe alike. A love like this can only come from God, and the Scriptures reveal that God is love (1 John 4:8). Jesus modeled sacrificial love when he washed the feet of Judas, even though he knew full well that the disciple would betray him.

The Lord asked us to do the same – to extend the grace of God to others regardless of their response. God has pursued us with boundless, unconditional love; we are now to love others, as we have been loved. It is true that we may need to distance ourselves from certain people who are abusive in their actions. Nevertheless, Christ taught us to forgive and love even our enemies (Matthew 5:44). In our own strength this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Dear Father God,

Teach me to love as you love. Fill me with your Holy Spirit so I can love all people regardless of how they treat me. When I fall, graciously forgive me and help me to love again. Thank you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

© Copyright 2008 Tom Toya. All rights reserved.

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