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What does it mean to love the one who defines love?
Love was in the mind of the one who thought up and foreknew all that is. His voice boomed with love when He spoke all into being.
From the first sin of man to the day His perfect (all-loving!) son was rejected and crucified, even separated from God, love was at work. Even after that, after He was denied, abandoned, and all that He said that no man could have possibly known came true, His return was filled up and overflowing with love.
He showed His love for us by dying in our stead and rising again, even while we were His enemies.
Before and after that, the Lord’s love has also:
Been patient. Bearing with us through endless sinning and rejection and idolatry and selfishness (see: the entire Old Testament!)
Been kind. Giving every good gift, blessing us with His presence, peace, and an ability to live a righteous life.
Not envied, not boasted, not been proud, with the Lord Lording over us His perfection and power. Even when He has been jealous for us, He has done nothing to force us back to Him.
Has not dishonored anyone or been self-seeking. Has not been easily angered. He keeps no record of wrongs– offering for free to wipe all record of our sin and look on the sacrificial lamb of Christ instead!
His Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. So much so that all that is hidden, all we feel ashamed of, He redeems.
God’s love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. HIS Love never fails.
Familiar? That’s 1 Corinthians 13. That’s the example God has given us of what it is to love.
And He says to us in Matthew 22:
“‘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.”
His commandments are not impossible. Spoken and given in perfect love, the commands encompasses all others. It is as kind, patient, and compassionate as the command a parent gives their child to stay out of the road or to eat their meal. When we obey this loving command to love, we thrive. We follow God’s way –the best way.
God’s whole person is bound up in that greatest commandment –that greatest way of being. And isn’t that what all our heart, mind, and soul mean? That our whole being is to be like His by being composed wholly of love?
Think about that: to love God, we have to follow His example. Because His example is love and there is no love apart from the love He creates, defines, and exemplifies. So by loving like God loves, we love God. His love is the standard set, even for loving Him.
If you want to love God, turn your thoughts to the thoughts He has taught us. Turn your mind to the mind of Christ. Shift your heart to align with His. No greater joy is found, no greater love given or received, than to wholly give up oneself to be His.
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