The Love of Christ
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.’”
Once we entered into this wonderful salvation that we are experiencing, we stepped into three commands of Jesus. It is true that we are saved by grace through faith, but that doesn’t excuse us from following the Son of God’s commands—it compels us to do so. We should do our very best to fulfill them. So what are these three commands of Christ?
First, when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He responded, “You should love God with all of your heart, all of your strength and all of your mind.” That may sound difficult to some, but for many of us, it is a joy to do so. Once you start thinking about all of the terrible things from which He has saved you, a joy and a sense of worship will rise up on the inside of you. That’s love. Then, if you’ll begin to meditate on all of the extraordinary things He has given you, such as peace, safety, healing and prosperity, that love will grow and grow. Soon, you won’t be trying to work up some kind of emotional love, but true love for God will flow from your innermost being.
Secondly, Jesus said we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. That’s where the rubber meets the road. Loving somebody from a distance can be relatively easy, but loving somebody who is up close and personal can be challenging at times. When Jesus told us we are to love our neighbor, He knew we’d have to go to Him for help when things get sticky. The command doesn’t come without provision. God has placed His love inside of us so that we can draw upon it when we feel like doing just the opposite. The love of God is a vast resource of spiritual power. You must learn to tap into it more and more.
After establishing these two commands, Jesus said something that fills my life with freedom. He said, “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” In other words, if you do these two—and you can by drawing on God’s love in your heart—then you have fulfilled the entire old covenant.
Finally, before Jesus ascended into the heavens, He issued His third and final command. He said we are to go into the entire world and proclaim the gospel. This command was so important to Him that He restated it four times. Jesus expects each and every one of us to share our testimonies and to be witnesses to His resurrection. He told us to preach it in our home town and neighboring communities, as well as to every nation, tribe and people.
The first two commands are very personal. They can be fulfilled with God’s help and a whole lot of renewing the mind and discipline. But the third command can’t be done alone. The world is a big place. To reach the whole world, we have to network with other people and other ministries. Maybe you’ll never go to a foreign nation, but God can hook you up with somebody who does. You can go through your prayers and by sowing financial seed into what they’re doing. Instead of the thousands of regulations the Israelites had to keep, you only have three: love God, love others and reach the world with the love of Christ.
“But you will receive power when the
Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my
witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and
Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
And hope does not disappoint us, because
God has poured out his love into our hearts
by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
The entire law is summed up in a single
command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”