Since I am studying about the fruit of love this week, who better to tell us about love than Jesus? Jesus showed us more love than anyone by dying for us. Jesus is God and spoke what God commanded as far love. If you remember, yesterday I looked at why God would consider love so important. The Bible showed us that God is love and therefore if we do not love, we don’t know God. Today, I am going to look at what God considered the highest priority to living for Him. Please turn to Mark 12:28-34.
I want to set the scene a bit. I read that one historian counted 613 different laws that the Jews of that day had to follow. I don’t know about you, but I think that it would get a confusing trying to sort out all those laws. We are not so different here in America. I know someone who took a job where he had to make sure that all the environment regulations for that industry were being kept. When he called the EPA to get a copy of the regulations for his industry they laughed at him; they explained that it would take at least one semi-truck to ship all the regulations. He had to resign himself to accepting that he would not be able to have a copy, and decide what the most important regulations to know were. Some experts of the Jewish law said that all laws were created equal, and some said that there were laws that were above and beyond all the other laws. The question that was asked of Jesus was controversial.
In this scripture, Jesus was quoting a command that is found in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and in Leviticus 19:18. The teacher of the law then answered in verses 32-33, “’Well said, teacher,’ the man replied. ‘You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but Him. To love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding, and with all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.’” Jesus answered him by saying, “You are not far from the kingdom of God,” verse 34. Jesus confirmed that there were two laws that were greater than any other. I want to look at why these commands are greater. Today I am focusing on the command to love God.
Please turn to John 14:13-21 and read what Jesus says of those who love Him. Jesus says in verse 13, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” Basically, love is obedience, so when we love God all the other commands will fall into place. We will desire to obey God and please Him when we love Him. Jesus then promises the Holy Spirit to be with us forever, who will counsel us in the way we should walk. Jesus then says it again in verse 21, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.” Jesus was teaching us that love and obedience go hand in hand. Reading this, and thinking on it, we can understand why God doesn’t consider the fruit of love a gift, but rather it is an expectation. There is nothing greater than love for God and others. So, it is important that when we read the Bible, we are showing God love when we do what it says.
Are you showing God love through obedience?