Posted by Heather Conrad at 10:23 PM

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love. A short, little, four-letter word. Yet, the thought of even attempting to unpack the depth of it's meaning, gives me a never-ending-road vision. A quick search reveals that the word "love" is used repeatedly in over 500 scripture verses. The definition of the word love itself is numerous and varied, again pointing to the complexity and the absurdity of the human race attempting to define it. We even have a special day of celebration in honor of love, though highly commercialized and "materialized", it's nationally recognized none the less.

In my humble and yet feeble attempt to add a few "cents" to the subject most written about, sung about, quoted, and even quantified, here's the question spurring my learning...

How does my Jesus teach me, show me, and command me to love my God and to love people?

I need look no further than Matthew 28:37-39:

Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'aThis is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'b

Love God. Love people.

In fact, of all the 613 commands written to us, these are the greatest.

If we take a look at Exodus 20, and read through the 10 commandments, we'll find that the first 5 are in regards to loving God, and the second 5 are in regards to loving people.

Let's take a look at Jesus' life in John Chapter 13. Here we find the Lord spending precious moments with his BFF's just prior to his "hour". We read an account of the purpose in his death - He chose to love and obey God at any cost. He chose to die because of his love for His people.

When Jesus sorrowfully spoke of His coming temporary separation from His own, he gave them a commandment that would become their greatest comfort while He was no longer visibly present. He commanded them to love one another and to show each other that love in the same way that He had shown them while He lived with them. He had comforted them by His love.

Though we do not see Jesus in the flesh as he disciples did, we can see and feel him in the love with which He loves us through one another.

"By this all men will know that you are my disciples."

Do "all men" know that I am a disciple?

Do I love when it's not convenient? When I don't feel like it? When it costs me (time/money)? When the world tells me I shouldn't (don't deserve it)? When I've been wronged?

In light of how my Jesus loves, could it be the least I can do? Can it simply be my reasonable service?

My bible study this week has challenged me with a statement - Rather than serving to prove our love to Christ, we serve in order to learn how to love like He did.

How will we serve today? The Lord prompted my heart just this morning. I had a choice. Speak out of "rightness", speak in love. Love wins every time.

In the quote seen in the picture above, I humbly suggest one little deduction. If God is love (1 John 4:8), and love is life, if you miss God, you miss life. (smile)

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!