Love is the Foundation
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. and the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”Mark 12:30-31
Love is the foundation of the Christian life, and the more love that is in our hearts the closer we are to the Lord because God is love. We can read the Word and fill our head with knowledge of the Word, and this is good but we don’t stop with just knowledge. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:22) In life, we go to school to learn a trade. What good is that education if we never put it to use?
Agape love means we care about others, and we care about others even when there is no brotherly love, such as with our enemies. But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (Luke 6:27-28) The love in this verse is agape love and not brotherly love, which means we can pray for our enemies and show kindness. This can be a powerful witness for Christ. People expect kindness when they are kind to us, but when people are not kind to us they don’t expect kindness in return. As a Christian, we show kindness to everyone and we are sad when they are angry and refuse to listen, because Satan has filled that person with his lies.
All the commands in the Word become natural when our heart is filled with God’s love. Love changes us and frees us from self, and places our emphasis on God and others. When we follow the Spirit by showing people Christ-like behavior with a compassionate, caring heart, then the Lord places emphasis on caring for us, filling our spiritual needs and our worldly needs. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33) This verse is a powerful promise of God, if we place him first following the Spirit reflecting Christ to the world, he promises our worldly needs will be provided.
Today, place emphasis on serving the Lord, being a light for Christ and know the Lord will guide you to fulfill your worldly needs. Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) All things are possible for God. If we depend on him and obey his Word, then he takes care of our worldly and spiritual needs. He provides what we need, but if we continue to seek our worldly desires beyond what we really need, then our hearts need more of God’s love. Love places our desire on knowing God and helping others, and things of the world become less important and less desirable.
Pray: Lord, fill my heart with your love as I reflect Christ to the world. With your love, free me from myself so I desire your kingdom and righteousness over things of the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen