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28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving* that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”
29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.
30 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.*
If you will love the Lord with all your Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength, then what else is left? The Scribe asked Jesus “Among all the several commandments that Moses gave us (that is the things that God wants us to do so that we can be in favour with him) which includes “Thou shall not steal; Thou shall not kill; Thou shall not covet your neighbour’s properties…” Which one is the first and the greatest? I am sure the scribe must have the expecting to hear “Thou shall not Kill”. His expectation must have been disappointed. This implies that if you fulfill all the rest and fail to fulfill the most important, it’s as if you have broken all.
Love God with everything you’ve got, with everything in you, Love Him.
The Expository Bible commentary says “God is to be loved completely and totally, in the covenant, God gave himself totally in love to his people and therefore God expects that his people will give themselves totally in love to him. What an Expectation!!!
I John 4:19 says “We love him because he first loved us”. God loved us when we were unlovable, when there was nothing good in you and about us. We are all passionate about certain stuffs in our lives, some football, some jewelry, some fashion, and some gold and so on. Parents are passionate about their kids; boys are passionate about their girlfriends and girls, their boyfriends as well. We are all passionate about one thing or the other but God. All the things and people we are passionate about, God gave us. It’s painful that we are passionate about all of these but the giver of them. God doesn’t expect you to be passionate about him the same way we are passionate about our spouses and so on. Imagine when you just met that lady or guy; at that time, the love you had and showered best fit what the scripture described as “love being as strong as death”, you could do anything for the person because of the level of passion you had. Meanwhile God expects us to be more passionate about him than we are passionate about any other person or thing in our lives. When will God become your love? You are supposed to love God with everything you’ve got.
Someone might be asking in his/her heart, how do I love God? My question to you is “How do you love that guy or that lady? Primarily I want you to know that ‘love is not just an emotion or a feeling, it is an action. Love is meant to be expressed.
THREE (3) THINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES THAT WE CAN DO TO DEMONSTRATE/SHOW/EXPRESS OUR LOVE TO GOD.
1. THE USE OF WORDS OF AFFIRMATION.
John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God”. God respond to words. The thief at the right side of Jesus on the cross at his dying minutes, only muttered words to Jesus and got a response of the promise of paradise; when blind bartimaeus screamed and said “Jesus! Thou son of David, have mercy on me”, Jesus stood still, he responded to him. When we praise and worship God, we use words to affirm in music to express the goodness of God. When a young man looks at a lady and says to her “I love you, if loving you is wrong, I don’t ever want to be right; I am lost in your love and I don’t ever want to be found” and so on. These words begin to work on the lady. The same thing happens to God. How do you talk to God and about him? Do you complain about your woes and miseries? God expects you to talk about things bothering you. It’s all right to cast our cares upon him for he cares for us, but that shouldn’t be all that we do when we come before him. We must learn to take words into his presence. Many guys have used this word for girls, which is meant for God – “You are the best thing that ever happened to me”. How do you think God will feel if he hears you tell him this and much more? When you begin to use words of affirmations to affirm the goodness of God, his greatness, awesomeness, might, strength, majesty, God begins to respond to you. When was the last time you said to him “father, I just love you”. Can you whisper it to him now “father, I just love you”.
See the prayer of a frustrated man in Psalm 3. King David wrote this Psalm when he fled from Absalom, when his own begotten son put him on the run. Can you imagine the kind of pain you will experience if this happens to you? David wrote the Psalm in the midst of this pandemonium.
See the level of confidence and boldness that he exhumed in God. Even though you have needs and you don’t know where the solution will come from, God will be elated if you go into his presence exhuming confidence in him. How many people will you have as your friend if everytime you approach them, you complain? The moment they see you, they’ll run even if your complains are legitimate. Learn to talk about God’s goodness even when things are rough. We need to affirm, declare and express our love for him more.
2. BY DOING WHAT PLEASES HIM
John 14: 15 says “if you love me, keep my commandments”. Don’t forget, love is not an emotion but an action. I John 5:3 says “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments”. And His commandments are not burdensome”. Message version states that the prove that we love God is when we keep him commandments and his commandments are not troublesome.
We can’t just be declaring that we love God without doing what he asks us to do. It’ll amount to mere lips service if we just say we love him and live our lives our way. It must be his way, he’s our king and we are his subject. The reason for his commandment is for our well-being and not his. His commandments are not troublesome. You’ll understand why God says don’t steal when you see an Armed robber is treated with Jungle Justice, God won’t bear the consequence of sin, we are the ones that will.
I John 3:18 “let us not love in words neither tongues but in deeds and in truth”. If you claim you love God then back it up with your lifestyle. You don’t scheme to hurt someone that you are really in love with. If you love God, you won’t hurt him. How do we hurt God? We do so when we commit sin, sin disturbs God’s universe. God shifted his attention from his own begotten son when he carried sin on the cross. You can’t afford to be sleeping around, and keep coming to church to sing “I love you lord”. That’s fake love, it’s not genuine. You can’t serve two masters, friendship with God is enmity with God. You have to choose one. No man has the capacity to serve two masters. You dance to koko master on Saturday Night and to Don Moen on Sunday Morning, you can’t serve God that way. God cannot be mocked. You must do away with certain things though you love those things but because of your higher love for God.
You can’t wait to talk to your friends about your new found love. You showcase and flaunt your love. Do you flaunt God? when will your life begin to put smiles on God’s face. Love is as strong as death, many waters cannot quench it.
How do you give to God? Do you give to him as if he is a beggar? God’s not lucky that you are giving to him, you are fortunate that he’s taking your offering. Three (3) times I have sowed my cars because of God, back to square one walking on the road for months before God provides another one. What is it that you can’t give to God? If you love someone, you will be ready to part with anything? When you love someone, you can go any length/extent for them.
3. IF YOU LOVE GOD, YOU WILL CREATE TIME FOR HIM.
Affection determines Devotion. Everyone of us inspite of our busy schedules, we always have time for people and things that matters to us. How affectionate you are about a thing determines amount of time you devote to it. Our lack of time for God only explains our lack of affection for him, we all love to be in the company of people that we love. You can’t love God until he becomes your treasure. Mattew 6:21 says “for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”. Message translation reads “the place where your treasure is, is the place you will most love to be and end up being”. The heart love what it treasures. Until God becomes your treasures, you can’t love him. Our heart must be circumcised to treasure God.
When God becomes your treasure, prayer will no more a duty. We must create time deliberately out of the distraction of time, set out time to come before him, go through the scriptures, have him talk to us and talk back to him. Set a time of the day that you always want to be in his presence, God will be waiting for you at your set time daily. Even Jesus inspite of his busy itinerary created time for the father. Moments spent in the presence of God will never leave your life and situations the same; you will be changed as well your live experiences. God wants to be with you, he wants to spend time with you, he wants to talk with you, giving you wisdom and direction. He wants to reveal himself to you. If you spend time with a thing, you can’t know and understand that thing. You can’t know God if you don’t spend time with him. He wants to pour his power into your life when you come to him so that you’ll be empowered and equipped to live the kind of life that he wants you to live.
Have you thought of it that God will leave trillions of Angels in heaven to spend time with Adam in the cool of the day and come down into the Garden of Eden. Angels and Man don’t occupy the same space in the heart of God. we are created for fellowship. God wants to spend time with you, will you create time for you?
PRAYER: LORD, GIVE ME APPETITE FOR YOUR PRESENCE. HELP TO LOVE YOU, GIVE ME THE GRACE TO LOVE YOU AS I SHOULD.
When you appear before him and sit with his word, you receive all you need in life. They are all in there and that’s why he devil doesn’t like you going into his presence. All that you want in life is in his presence. What you are looking for elsewhere can’t be found there but in his presence. When you stay in his presence, God rubs on you, you come out and begin to smell like perfume. You cant be with him and the world won’t know like the illiterate and unlearned disciple that men took notice of that they’ve been with Jesus.
God in his eternal counsel planned and concluded he was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. While he was on his way, he remembered that he’s not told his friends Abraham, he had to turn back to tell him. When we become friends of God, we can change his mind over the affairs of life.