Summary: How we have been Commanded to love God as well as our neighbor and how we can only perfect this love through Jesus Christ within us
Last week we started a series called “How to improve your Love life” our scripture was 1st Corinthians 13 and we talked about what love isn’t and what love is. So why do we need to improve our love life? I believe the way we love goes hand in hand with our salvation.
Lets look at a question that was posed to Jesus , the response he received and what he said about the answer.
This verse is a quotation from two books of the Old Testament Deut. 6:5 tells the people to Love God and Leviticus 19:18 Tells people to love their neighbor ,all the other Laws , 613 Mitsvot’s or Commandments are summed up in these two laws.
So let’s start out with the first and foremost commandment loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. What does this mean?
It means that we are commanded to love God with every fiber of our being, it means that we must put God first in our life and first in everything we do, 24/7/365 should be about pleasing God and following his direction.
Lets be Honest, we all fail miserably, most of us spend a life consumed with satisfying ourselves and not satisfying God. The truth is in these natural bodies, in these bodies made of flesh and blood we cannot ever be perfect in following this commandment, that’s why God sent Jesus because evry day we fall short, evry day we miss the Mark. I’m not saying this is our fault but we just cant love enough on our own, but with Jesus we can work toward this lofty goal, we can get better and better each day.
Lets look at how to improve our love life in this aspect.
In order to begin loving God we need to love ourselves. We need to quit moping around thinking o poor pitiful me, nobody loves me. I want to tell you today we must realize that God loves us, He loves us more than anything else. God loves us even before we loved Him.
When we begin to realize that God loves us despite our faults, despite our shortcomings, despite how dirty and nasty we think we are. When we realize that he loves us no matter what that’s when we begin to improve in our love toward God.
Now the next step we are commanded about love is the hard one, lets face it , its pretty easy to love God, but sometimes its not so easy to love your neighbor and we have been called to love them as much as we love ourselves.
Now let me tell you, we love ourselves a lot …. Don’t we, nothing but the best for us filet mignon and cavier. Lets face it we as a nation, we as a church we treat ourselves good, because we love us.
So why don’t we love those around us as much as we love ourselves? Oh we say we love everybody but do we show it by our actions. When we help someone out do we do it freely with a willing heart or do we do it not judging or wondering what will be done with the gift we give.
The truth is if we cant possibly love God with all our being we are going to have trouble with loving our neighbor. Its hard and the only way we can love our neighbors as much as we love us is with Jesus Christ in our hearts. The only way that we can love like we should is through Christ.
Lets be honest we don’t love God as we should and we don’t love people as we should that’s why we need Christ working in us so that we can do better.
Here is something that might help us love our neighbors, we must realize that God loves them just as much as he loves us. In His eyes we are all the same, not only does he love me and you he loves them to.
So we can all get better at love cant we, we can all work toward improving our love life once we realize that God loves us regardless of what we do.
Loving God may be easy , loving your neighbor may be easy but let me read you the standard that Jesus has set for us.
Luke 6:27-36New International Version (NIV)
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.