This is the first and best commandment. It’s not the first of the Ten Commandments, but it is the first of the the two that Jesus recommended. The second is like unto the first, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” To this Jesus adds the Christian commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you.” It all seems to be about love, doesn’t it?
Is it telling that all of these commandments command love? As if to say that love is not something that comes naturally from us. We must be told to do it. Is it somehow contrary to our nature to love God, neighbor, and our brother in Christ? Or is it that though we love, we don’t love the right things, and that these commandments are direct our love, instead of correcting our lack of love.
In regards to this, do you remember Ephesians 5? In that passage, women are commanded to respect and submit to their husbands, while husbands are commanded to love their wives, as Christ loved the church. While on the one hand, submission is not an easy nor popular thing to do, genuine self-sacrificial love is just as difficult for a man to express for his wife. This is the same kind of love commanded in all three commandments above.
If love wasn’t a commandment, would we do it? Do you struggle with love? It is hard for us to know what Love is when we’ve never been exposed to it. Many people experience unconditional love from their parents, but many don’t. Without that experience, it’s hard to imagine a God who is Love. For without love, it impossible to know God. It’s impossible to understand His motivations. That God would willingly sacrifice His own Son so that the world could be set free from sin. What kind of love is that?
I challenge you today to explore this love. 1 John is an excellent commentary on the love of God. If love is challenging for you, make this a matter of first priority in your prayer life. Because everything we are commanded to do comes from this.
If you struggle with love, let me pray with you. God bless you today.