Summary: Part 3 of our Finding Purpose series will focus on the top commands from God to us on how we are to be. Loving God with all of our heart, mind and soul and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Part 3 – What is our Purpose as God’s People?
† SCRIPTURE READING
This week we will be looking at what our purpose as God’s people is.
This very question was posed to Jesus in our scripture reading today, an expert in religious law asking Jesus this question trying to test Him the scripture says, “What is the greatest command from God to us?”
† Matthew 22:36 – 38
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment.”
What is our purpose as God’s people?
What does Jesus say the first and greatest commandment from God is?
Love God with all your heart, soul and mind!
But what is love?
Jesus says in John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey my commands.”
So, when we are obedient to God’s word, we are telling God we love Him. That’s how we love God, through obedience.
We know God is love. And we know God loves us.
† I John 4:7 – 10
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son[b] into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for[c] our sins.”
This is love. Everyone who loves is born of God.
Whoever does not love, does not know God.
God’s love was to send His only son to die as atonement so that we may be with Him.
So we must love God the way He loves us with all of our heart, mind and soul.
Jesus said this is the greatest commandment.
You know, I’ve counseled a few couples. Some of them were for pre-marriage, and some were after marriage. There was this particular couple I counseled who didn’t attend church. They didn’t read their Bibles. They didn’t have good Christian foundation in their past. And they were having marriage difficulties.
After meeting with them a few times it was evident that although their problems with each other and themselves were real problems, all of their problems boiled down to one fact.
They didn’t know what love was. This was because they didn’t have a relationship with God.
So because they didn’t know God, they didn’t understand love. And because they didn’t understand love, they couldn’t love each other or themselves.
Of course, we cannot MAKE someone accept Christ or turn to God.
All we can do is love them, give them tools and pray for them.
This couple divorced, and to my knowledge neither one is involved in a church, and they will end up making the same mistake again and again unless they receive Christ.
God is love. If you do not have God, you CANNOT love.
So we are to love God with our hearts, minds, and souls, and love one another.
Love one another.
That sounds easy enough.
Back to Matthew 22, where we are told the greatest command is to love God with our hearts, minds and souls, Jesus continued.
† Matthew 22:39, 40
“39And the second (greatest command) is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[c] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Love my neighbor as myself? I guess that becomes more difficult depending on who your neighbor is.
But it shouldn’t matter.
You may say, “But Bruce, you don’t know what my neighbor is like! You don’t know all the detestable, sick, crazy, vile things and language that I hear from over there! You just don’t know what he is like! How can I love him?”
I’ve thought about this and this is what I came up with.
Where were you when you found God’s love?
Where you a perfect Christian?
It’s true God transforms us after we accept Him, through the Holy Spirit we are NEW creatures.
But if we weren’t a mess when God came to us, there would be nothing to change.
Forgive others who sin against you, so that your Father in heaven will forgive you.
Love has nothing to do with right and wrong.
Love has nothing to do with sin, nor repentance.
God came to me when I was wrong.
He came to me while I was in sin.
He found me when I was not repentant.
He found me when I needed Him most, in the depths of my sin.
And praise the Lord He made me a NEW creature in Christ!