We all know about the Ten Commandments found in Exodus Chapter 20 but do you know what the greatest commandment is? In Matthew 22:36-40 it says "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.” So that about puts it in a concise little nutshell.
Many verses dealing with love also say things like 'how can you say you love God and hate your brother?' 1 John 4:20 tells us "If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen." Oh my gosh when we are angry at someone then what? We have to ask God to change our hearts and try to love people like God loves them no matter how mean or evil they are. It is only through the 'love of Jesus' that some are even capable of being able to love. Hate is a pretty strong word but if you are treating someone poorly and not in a Christlike manner that may not exactly be hate but it is sure not love is it?
It is only with the power of the Holy Spirit that we can love certain people. Take rulers who are evil and hurting the people of their land for instance. It is hard when a tyrant tries to bully and control the people with a corrupt government. Another example is someone who has hurt you either emotionally or physically. Yes another situation would be someone trying to sue you over something. How are you possibly able to love these people? Proverbs 24:17 says "Do not rejoice when your enemy meets trouble. Let there be no gladness when he falls-for the Lord may be displeased with you and stop punishing him." Let God handle the judgment of others. Even many marriages could have been saved it God's love would have been practiced on a regular basis.
In the recent motion picture release of 'The Grace Card' the ultimate show of forgiveness and love was displayed when a man was able to forgive someone who years before had struck and killed his young son with a car during a police chase. How much better off we would be if we could truly forgive and love. We may put some trial lawyers out of business. Proverbs 25:21-22 tells us "if our enemy is hungry, give him food! If he is thirsty, give him something to drink! This will make him feel ashamed of himself, and God will reward you." http://www.thegracecardmovie.com/
John 13:35 says "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." Do you have the love of God in your heart? Is there anyone you hold a grudge against or harbor resentment or ill feelings? I know in taking communion you do not hear the scripture read very much but it tells us we are not to be taking communion if we have divisions among us. (See 1 Corinthian 11:17-33).I interpret this to mean by a division any ill will towards someone. How many take communion and do not even know these verses about the Lords' Supper even exist?
Love is opposite of what Satan wants. The enemy wants division, hatred, anger, bitterness, wrath, destruction and lies. Pretty much all people have heard of the 'love chapter' in the Bible that being 1 Corinthians 13. It is read at lots of weddings. But do we do what it says?An excerpt in verses 4-7 says "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."
The challenge is to live like Christ lives and love like Christ loves. Sometimes you may not feel like loving but you have to choose to love. Some marriages break up because someone says they do not 'feel' in love. It is not all about feelings. It is about a decision to 'just do it", love that is.Sometimes when you do not feel like loving and do it anyway the true love feelings will happen. Why not give it a try?
Is there someone you need to practice loving and being kind too? Ask God to show you who that is and pray for having an attitude like the Lord towards these people who humanly you may be having a hard time showing love to. If you do it long enough you may just find the love will be there when you least expect it.
PRAYER: Lord I thank you for your supernatural love. Help me to have love in my heart for the unlovable. I know you do not want us to harbor bad feelings in our heart. You are love and we are to be like you. Sometimes it is really hard so I need your help. In Jesus Name. Amen.
(NOTE:I sent 15 March devotion out early since I have an early flight in the morning and will not be on the computer. Blessings to all who read this. )
This devotion is also found on http://www.godslemonadestand.blogspot.com/