May 5, 2014 | by: 0 Comments|
Last week I mentioned that Matthew 22:37 kept coming up in personal study, conversations with friends, and in planning for future services. Reflecting on Jesus’ words, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” I raised three questions: What is love? Who are you to love? How are you to love him? I at least made an attempt to answer the first question. Now I’d like to try to reflect on the question, “Who are you to love?”
In some ways, the answer is quite simple, isn’t it? Ultimately, as Christians, we are to love God. It is not only what Jesus said to us, but it is what we are especially told in Deuteronomy and Joshua. I’d encourage you to spend some time reading through the following passages: Deuteronomy 6:5, 10:12, 11:1, 11:13, 13:3, 30:6; Joshua 22:5, 23:11. We love him, John tells us, because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). I wonder if you feel your allegiance, action, and affection (your love in the words of John Frame) toward God receding from time to time. I know that has certainly been the case from time to time in my spiritual walk, and my sense is that it is the universal experience of Christians to pass through times of greater and lesser intensity of love for God. I have also found that perhaps the single greatest encouragement or inducement to greater love for God has been to deeply reflect on his own love.
So when you’re feeling discouraged about your love for God, lean into his love. Get to know what his love is like, and pray that your love would be more like his. In addition to praying and reflecting on the Scriptures, consider the following hymn, entitled “The Love of God” by Frederick M. Lehman,
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.
When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song. Refrain
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky. Refrain
When we consider the depth and breadth of God’s love, we should surely never run out of love for him.
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