Love Matters

If you don’t know much about the Christian faith you should at least know this: Love Matters! It’s true—listen to the words of scripture: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God…” (Deuteronomy. 6:4-5).

Jesus called this the greatest commandment (Mark 12:29-30) and then He added to it the second most important commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).

There are all kinds of commandments or laws in the Bible. In the Old Testament there are ceremonial laws, civil laws, and moral laws. The Jewish Rabbis had isolated 613 written commandments or laws. So there are a lot of laws. But in the New Testament Jesus tells us that it really gets down to only two laws you need to fulfill to please God: Love God with all your being and love your neighbor as yourself. The Ten Commandments can be summarized by these two principles. That is why these are the most important commandments and why obedience to God in these are our most important commitments.

These commandments come straight from scripture but I know that it runs against the grain of our culture. We live in a culture which extols the virtue of self while excusing selfishness. But do you really want to be a selfish person? Is that how you want to live? Honestly, I think you would agree, there’s nothing more obnoxious than a person who is totally selfish. We’ve all been around arrogant, egotistical people who are consumed with self and think they are better than everyone else. They pretty much make everyone around them uncomfortable, if not miserable.

An advice columnist got a letter from a guy like that. He wrote:“I’m a guy who has everything. I’m smart and handsome. Women are always flocking around me and telling me how good-looking I am and what a marvelous personality I have. Frankly, I’m beginning to find this boring. How can I discourage these hopeful females? C.W.” The advice columnist wrote back: “Dear C.W., Just keep talking.”

You don’t want to be that guy. There’s a better way to live. It’s the way of love. Not a selfish life but a selfless life. The Apostle Paul introduced the love chapter (1 Corinthians 13) by saying, “And now I will show you the most excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31b). Indeed, the whole of scripture commends and commands the most excellent way of love. We must choose every day to follow the way of love.

The most important thing in life is loving God and loving others. Let’s do this—because Love Matters!

Devotedly yours,

Pastor Ron

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