Summary: Today's sermon looks at love not only as life's driving priority, and how love is life's defining principle, but also how love, as described and commanded by Jesus is a believer's job description.

Love – Life’s Driving Priority

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For centuries, if not millenniums people have been looking for love. And if I could borrow the lyrics and title from an old country western song, they’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places. How else can we explain the record setting number of divorces, the increase in pornography, and a society that has replaced the traditional definition of marriage with alternative lifestyles.

So where can we go? Where can we find a love that truly works in a world determined to redefine the word itself? We can’t go to society, because it hasn’t got a clue. We can’t go to religion, because they abuse and misinterpret love with rules and regulations. We can’t go to Hollywood, because they’ve misrepresented it. We can’t go to authors; because they have as much trouble as everyone else defining love (it’s one of the longest entries in Webster’s Dictionary, and the Greek language has 8 separate words to define love).

But people need something that they can hang their hats upon, something that everyone can understand and put into practice in their everyday lives.

So where do we go? Maybe it’s time we go to the source of all love, and that is the Lord God. Maybe it’s time to go back to the One who created us and made within our DNA the need for love. Therefore, it’s time to go back to the Bible, God’s word for His creation, that is, for you and me, and it’s time to get back to its basics by which life gets and receives its meaning.

And what we’ll see is that love is life’s driving priority, or you might say is that it’s our job description.

The reason I say it like this is because Jesus gave it as a commandment, which we will look at more fully in a moment. But as a job description, Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34 NKJV)

But I also said that love is life’s driving priority. So, where do I come up with this idea? Well, I believe that the Lord Jesus gives it, not only as a command, but also as life’s defining principle. And He does so in several ways.

1. Love is the Great Commandment

“‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31 NKJV)

Some have shortened this to “Love God and love people.” But I think this is too simplistic and doesn’t accurately convey what Jesus means by placing these together as first and second.

By saying that the second is like the first, what Jesus was saying is that if you want to love God with the whole of who you are, heart, soul, mind, and strength, then you show Him this love by loving others as yourself.

And as awesome as that revelation is, it doesn’t do justice to what Jesus said to end it. This is found in Matthew’s gospel. Jesus said, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:40).

Imagine that! The whole of the law and all the writings of the prophets, all 39 books of the Old Testament, literally hundreds of thousands of words that were inspired by God and written down about how to live life, on God and His relationship with humanity, and on family and human relationships are contained in these two commandments. Also, what we find within these two commandments are God’s instructions for a joy filled and prosperous life.

And this is just the start of what Jesus has to tell us about why love is so important, and what inspired Paul to write at such great length the greatest definition of love, as found in his first letter to the Corinthian church. But, Jesus continues by saying that our love of God defines who we are, which is seen in the second principle.

2. Love is the Great Authenticator

Love authenticates God’s call upon our lives. In other words, love is what demonstrates to the world our faith in Jesus Christ, and that our faith is real.

Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35 NKJV)

In today’s marketplace there are a lot of knockoffs, that is, cut rate manufacturers who make a living on replicating and duplicating original products lines and even duplicating their logo in an attempt to make them look just like the original. You see this especially in clothing lines and ladies purses. You have ladies who carry on their arm Gucci knockoffs. They look like Gucci purses, but there are differences in the design that allows them to continue this deception.

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