I Love You
34 When the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. 35 And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test Him: 36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
Love is a powerful word. It can be used as a noun and a verb. Love is most often described as an emotion or a feeling, but it encompasses so much more. When I think of love, I think of the actions that we exhibit toward others without being asked, as if they were second nature.
Loving God is the single most important command according to Jesus. More than words or feelings, love is a choice – a willful determination regardless of circumstances. Loving God also results in obedience. The believer’s love for the Lord incites an intense desire to follow Him relentlessly – not out of obligation but because the heart of the believer delights in doing God’s will above everything else.
Lifeway Adult Winter 2019-20
There are many things in our lives that pull our focus away from Christ. These distractions may come in the form of TV, our friends and family, school, shopping, working out, or any number of other hobbies and interests. Sometimes we allow these to become more than just distractions, and they morph into full blown idols. In these cases, they are doing more than just standing in our way of loving God, the have replaced Him as our love. I am not saying to ignore any of these. In and of themselves, none of the things listed here are bad. However, God has given us so many things to be a part of, and sometimes we may overload ourselves and lose our direction and focus.
With social media being one of our biggest distractors, it is easy to become overwhelmed by our online interactions. We are often bombarded with so many requests for help that many times we shut down, close our hearts, ignore, or bypass these appeals. It isn’t because we don’t care. It may be because we are oversaturated with these requests and we can’t determine which are true needs and which are greedy and undeserving by our standards. This is where, “loving God with all our heart”, helps us to love others the way that God has commanded. By centering our focus on Him and His will, we allow our directions to be guided by God.
When we choose to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, we will find that the emptiness in our hearts, previously filled with distractions of the world, begins to overflow with a desire to spend more time with Him and other Christians.
I pray that God will soften our hearts to be loved and show love to our neighbors. Not just in lip service, by saying “I love you”, but through kindness, giving, and acts of service, no matter how small. I pray that God ignites in you a burning desire to love Him above all else; leading you to find your one true love in Him!
-Sharon Linder, Women’s Ministry Leadership Team