Key Passage: “And you shall love the Lord your God….” Mark 12:30a
The word, “love” has lost its significance in our culture because we use it to describe our feelings for anyone or anything we like. Saying that we love chocolate or football diminishes our understanding of the Greatest Commandment to love God. Because our concept of love is so skewed, it’s hard to answer the question, “Do you really love God?” What we need is a better understanding of biblical love.
The kind of love Jesus is talking about is the love He has for His Father and His Father has for Him. It’s also the same love He has for us. You may be thinking, “How can I possibly love God the way He loves Jesus?” First, understand that God gives us the capacity to genuinely love Him when we are saved, “the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirt who was given to us” (Romans 5:5). Think about that for a minute; our ability to love God is simply a matter of returning the love He gives to us. This supernatural love is a gift of God’s grace. We then express that love back to God through obedience to His Word.
Think of it this way; we can’t physically see love, but we can see its effects. God’s love for the world is seen on the Cross. In the same way, who or what we love motivates our behavior. So, our love for God can be measured by our actions. Jesus is saying that loving Him is the most important element in an obedient Christian life. At first, this command may seem self-serving on God’s part. Keep in mind, though, that no one knows us better or loves us more than our Creator. His commands are for our good and for His glory.
We talk about accepting the love of God by faith, but sometimes forget that demonstrating our love for God is also a matter of faith. Not faith that we can do anything, but faith that Jesus Christ, Himself, can love through us. As born-again believers, we are forgiven through the blood of Jesus and given the life of Jesus, so that we can live and love in the power of Jesus. Have you personally recognized and accepted God’s love for you? If so, then demonstrate today that you really love God by being obedient to His Word.