The greatest commandment....Love

The Lord ask two things from us and it is written several times in this bible. One such time is when the Pharisees as Jesus what is the greatest commandment, trying to throw Jesus off as God commanded his people to obey all this commandments.  But Jesus replies..."Love , the Lord your God with all your heart with all your mind and with all your soul. This is the first and greatest commandment.  The second is like it,'Love your neighbor as you love yourself'. But this is a reference to early commands written in Old Testement.  (Deut. 6:5 &; Lev 19:18).  This same command is again brought up as we enter the end of our time....1John 4:7-16.

God says through Paul....."My beloved friends, let us continue to love since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can't know him if you don't love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they've done to our relationship with God.
     My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!
    This is how we know we're living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He's given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we've seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God's Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we've embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God."

We should take heart especially during this holiday season....the birth of our holy son of God, our Savior....he did for others before he did for himself.  Even on the last day of his fellowship with disciples, he washed their feet (a sign of reverence and servitude) and then sat down as equals to eat one last supper before dying on the cross for our sins.  He took on our burdens with no questions asked and obeyed his father's wishes.  He took on our sins to help bring us closer to our God, to allow us to have a true relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Matthew Henry says that, "As the Spirit of truth is known by doctrine (thus spirits are to be tried), it is known by love likewise; and so here follows a strong fervent exhortation to holy Christian love: Beloved, let us love one another, 1 John 4:7. The apostle would unite them in his love, that he might unite them in love to each other: “Beloved, I beseech you, by the love I bear to you, that you put on unfeigned mutual love.”   He continues by saying that love has several meanings in this passage:
      One is "From the high and heavenly descent of love: For love is of God. He is the fountain, author, parent, and commander of love; it is the sum of his law and gospel: And every one that loveth (whose spirit is framed to judicious holy love) is born of God, 1 John 4:7. The Spirit of God is the Spirit of love. The new nature in the children of God is the offspring of his love: and the temper and complexion of it is love. The fruit of the Spirit is love, Gal. 5:22. Love comes down from heaven."
    Second is, "Love argues a true and just apprehension of the divine nature: He that loveth knoweth God, 1 John 4:7. He that loveth not knoweth not God, 1 John 4:8. What attribute of the divine Majesty so clearly shines in all the world as his communicative goodness, which is love. The wisdom, the greatness, the harmony, and usefulness of the vast creation, which so fully demonstrate his being, do at the same time show and prove his love; and natural reason, inferring and collecting the nature and excellence of the most absolute perfect being, must collect and find that he is most highly good: and he that loveth not (is not quickened by the knowledge he hath of God to the affection and practice of love) knoweth not God; it is a convictive evidence that the sound and due knowledge of God dwells not in such a soul; his love must needs shine among his primary brightest perfections; for God is love (1 John 4:8), his nature and essence are love, his will and works are primarily love. Not that this is the only conception we ought to have of him; we have found that he is light as well as love (1 John 1:5), and God is principally love to himself, and he has such perfections as arise from the necessary love he must bear to his necessary existence, excellence, and glory; but love is natural and essential to the divine Majesty: God is love. This is argued from the display and demonstration that he hath given of it; as, 1. That he hath loved us, such as we are: In this was manifest the love of God towards us (1 John 4:9), towards us mortals, us ungrateful rebels. God commandeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, Rom. 5:8. Strange that God should love impure, vain, vile, dust and ashes! 2. That he has loved us at such a rate, at such an incomparable value as he has given for us; he has given his own, only-beloved, blessed Son for us: Because that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him, 1 John 4:9. This person is in some peculiar distinguishing way the Son of God; he is the only-begotten. Should we suppose him begotten as a creature or created being, he is not the only-begotten. Should we suppose him a natural necessary eradication from the Father’s glory or glorious essence, or substance, he must be the only-begotten: and then it will be a mystery and miracle of divine love that such a Son should be sent into our world for us! It may well be said, So (wonderfully, so amazingly, so incredibly) God loved the world. 3. That God loved us first, and in the circumstances in which we lay: Herein is love (unusual unprecedented love), not that we loved God, but that he loved us, 1 John 4:10. He loved us, when we had no love for him, when we lay in our guilt, misery, and blood, when we were undeserving, ill-deserving, polluted, and unclean, and wanted to be washed from our sins in sacred blood. 4. That he gave us his Son for such service and such an end. (1.) For such service, to be the propitiation for our sins; consequently to die for us, to die under the law and curse of God, to bear our sins in his own body, to be crucified, to be wounded in his soul, and pierced in his side, to be dead and buried for us (1 John 4:10); and then, (2.) For such an end, for such a good and beneficial end to us—that we might live through him (1 John 4:9), might live for ever through him, might live in heaven, live with God, and live in eternal glory and blessedness with him and through him: O what love is here! Then,"

  Thirdly he states,  "The Christian love is an assurance of the divine inhabitation: If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, 1 John 4:12. Now God dwelleth in us, not by any visible presence, or immediate appearance to the eye (no man hath seen God at any time, 1 John 4:12), but by his Spirit (1 John 4:13); or, “No man hath seen God at any time; he does not here present himself to our eye or to our immediate intuition, and so he does not in this way demand and exact our love; but he demands and expects it in that way in which he has thought meet to deserve and claim it, and that is in the illustration that he has given of himself and of his love (and thereupon of his loveliness too) in the catholic church, and particularly in the brethren, the members of that church. In them, and in his appearance for them and with them, is God to be loved; and thus, if we love one another, God dwelleth in us. The sacred lovers of the brethren are the temples of God; the divine Majesty has a peculiar residence there.”

Wow, I love how he sums up our life with our God by three little phrases: the Lord dwells in us, He that loves God knows him, and love is of God.  All this said it is important in our walk of Faith to have love, know love and give love to others.  This helps us Christian disciples have a connection with our Heavenly Father and with others.  God wants a relationship with us, that is why he created us and he wants us to know love and give it.  He spoke to Adam in the garden of Eden about this very topic....Genesis 2:19-24

"The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
  Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[g] and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man." God goes on...."“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”  That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh."

So for this the first week of December, I ask you to take the time to think about how you love others and show God's love.  He is our Father, our Savior and our him how much that means to you and show your neighbor God's love for his children.

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