Love is something we always talk about, hear about, think about, but most importantly love is something we all want, desire and need. JESUS once discussed the importance of love with some Pharisees. He said, “’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.” Matt 22:37-40
So if we are to love, it would be important to understand what love is. In the world in which we live, love has been defined in many ways. Unfortunately the definitions we have received are not the kind of love JESUS is referring to. So let’s take a closer look at what the LORD’S kind of love might be. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Cor. 13:4-8
First, love is not merely a feeling, but it is the act of caring for. To care for someone you must be willing to lay your own life down. Think, if you had a desperately sick parent, or child, you would lay down all your own desires and plans so as to do everything possible to help and take care of the needs of that person. That is love. Love of necessity means giving, it doesn’t mean taking, but it does mean receiving and reciprocating. This is why love can never mean forcing another person into submission, because for any given reason, it is within your power to do so. GOD never forces anyone into submission to Himself. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
This brings us to the question. How do you love your neighbor as yourself?
Once, an expert in the Law asked JESUS “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” JESUS answered him with a question, “What is written in the Law?” The man answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Luke 10:27 The Lord responded, “You are right, do this and you will live.” The man asked, “Who is my neighbor?” JESUS answered him with the story of the “Good Samaritan.” Luke 10: 30-37 The man’s questions ended with JESUS telling him to go and do to others as this Samaritan had done.
The problem for most of us would arise when our neighbor is someone who is mean-spirited, unkind or basically unlovable, as we might term it. It is interesting to note that Samaritans were a people despised by the Jews, and yet, it was a Samaritan who ministered to the Jew who had been beaten, injured and left for dead.
WHAT then should we do?
JESUS expressed love in, through, and throughout His life on earth. We see His amazing love for those who had beaten, tortured and nailed Him to the cross. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 These Words were just a few of the many expressions of His awesome love for the absolutely unlovable.
In the natural, we would find it impossible to love or treat an offensive person as we would want them to treat us, but this is exactly what JESUS tells us to do. “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matt 7:12
If we are to be successful in reaching out in this way, we would of necessity, have to keep our eyes on GOD and not the individual. When we do this, we will begin to see that the worst of them are the ones that need love the most. We for our part must keep in mind that they are who they are, because they do not know GOD. GOD is Love.
Those who reject GOD’S great love are to be pitied, rather than hated. Unfortunately people who have chosen to step into the kingdom of darkness will spend eternity without GOD; without His Love. They will continue to exist in eternal torment unless they turn and accept HIS great Gift—JESUS CHRIST.
Now let’s focus on the beauty and awesomeness of GOD’S love. His love is gentle and peaceful. The Bible tells us, “Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms.” Ps 68:19 NLT If we can see ourselves in the safety or our Heavenly Father’s arms, we will also realize that His Arms hold us close in times of need. His loving Arms comfort us as we yield to His love. The Lord holds us close to His Heart, comforting and taking away all our pain, because it is only He who can.
Think of GOD as your Father, your DADDY GOD. He protects and provides. Receive the total peace that comes from resting in His Arms. His Love is like a waterfall of sunshine, warm and restoring. “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” Ps 84:11 The favor of the LORD is yours, so claim it.
Know without question that you are in your Father’s Arms, if you fall, confess your sins, for He has already picked you up. Asking forgiveness restores the relationship, so walk in GOD’S Favor and love, knowing without a doubt where you are—in your Father’s Arms. You don’t have to constantly watch out for yourself, He is your Father He watches out for you. “I will contend with those who contend with you…” Isa 49:25 Talk to the LORD and obey; this is walking by faith and not by sight. The LORD loves you and wants to get very personal with you. David prayed “Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings, Ps 17:8
When you rest in the LORD, He will guard you and direct you. His constant care is for you because you are His beloved child. Remember nothing will hurt or harm you because you are in your Father’s Arms.
Never forget the Promise of the Savior, JESUS CHRIST our LORD, “As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep” John 10:14-15
He gave His life that you might live.
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13