Settled In Heaven Blog

Home » SIH Lesson Themes » Doctrinal » To Love As Jesus Loved: The Imperative Of Love

To Love As Jesus Loved: The Imperative Of Love

Follow Us And Keep Updated On All SIH Postings ...


As The Lord Wills...Upcoming Series On SIH Blog. Don't Miss Out!

No upcoming events

Blog Subscription Tools:


Blog Stats

  • 420,109 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,578 other subscribers

Follow SIH Ministries On:


SettledInHeaven.org

SIH TOTT ICON(Mark 12:28-31)

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment.

And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

 

As we continue our look at the many display of love in Christ’s life through His teachings and our actions, we now continue our brief look at a few of His teachings concerning love…

 


Christ’s Teaching:

 

Another of the subjects Christ addressed during His earthly ministry was “The Imperative Of Love”…

We should all be concerned about the Lord’s desires for our lives…

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

After listening to an exchange between Christ and the Sadducees concerning the resurrection of the body and the status of marriage following the resurrection, this young scribe recognized the wisdom and authority with which Christ spoke.

He then, from a sincere, questioning heart, asked Christ which commandment was the “first” in priority and importance.

 

We are to love God with our entire being… 

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment.

Christ’s answer was clear and to the point… There is only one God that exists and our first priority of life is to love Him with our entire being.

Please notice that Christ not only addresses this young scribe but all of “Israel”, His chosen people. Keep in mind that physical Israel is a symbolic representation of all those who are chosen to faith in Christ. This helps us to understand that the commandment to love the true God applies to all of His people.

Also, please notice that a Christian is to love Him with their entire being… this is shown to us by the phrase “with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all our mind, and with all thy strength”.   These 4 terms teach us that our desires (heart), our physical life (soul), our thoughts (mind), and our abilities (strength) are to be dedicated unto His use, to bring glory and honor to Him.

 

We are to love others as if they were ourselves…

And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Most, if not all, of us would do be willing to make any sacrifice that is necessary to meet our own needs.

This is the same attitude we should hold towards others. When we see a need in their lives, we are to be willing to do whatever is necessary to help them meet their needs whether they are physical, or spiritual, in nature.

Are we willing to give our coat to the one who is cold?

Will we give of our food to one that is hungry, or are our time and attention to those who are lonely?

Most importantly, are we willing to share the gospel in the face mockery, abuse, or even death, for those who are lost and ready to perish eternally?

These can all be displays of a genuine love that we hold in our heart for our relatives, our friends, our acquaintances, and even the strangers that the Lord brings into the path of our life.

 

Love is first in priority and importance among all the commandments of God…

There is none other commandment greater than these.

Loving the Lord and our neighbor are the two most important of all of God’s commands. This is because when we love God and others as we should, we will automatically keep all His other commands.

IF we love God, we WILL honor, worship, and serve Him by keeping all His commands. If we love Him will not take His name in vain, we will serve Him exclusively, we will not worship graven images etc etc etc.

IF we love others, we WILL not sin against them but will live to meet their needs. If we love others we will not lie to them, we will not murder them, we will not commit adultery against them, we will not steal their belongings etc etc etc.

 

 Our Lesson To Be Learned:

So in response to the question, “Is showing love an absolute imperative for the Christian?” We can see through the teachings of Christ plainly show us that this is the number one priority for the Christian.

We have seen that Christ emphasizes this point to us using implications and clear statement of His command to us…
1. We should all be concerned about the Lord’s desires for our lives…
2. We are to love God with our entire being…
3. We are to love others as if they were ourselves…
4. Love is first in priority and importance among all the commandments of God…

May we all settle in our hearts the supreme need to love the Lord and others as we seek to serve Him!

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com


14 Comments

  1. Terry says:

    It seems that although your words are very true we are now living in a world where the one who looks towards his neighbor os being replaced by looking rather at they self. We all need to keep reading those commandments and bring God back into our conversations

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Very true. I look at it as a sign of the times in which we live. The Lord us that “the love of many will wax cold” in the last days. I believe that is what we are seeing take place. Lord bless!

  2. Nice post full of truth. I’m not certain many understand what real love is. The word is thrown around a lot but actions don’t show it. Thanks.

  3. Citizen Tom says:

    I have a post on altruism. http://citizentom.com/2012/11/26/the-debate-over-christianity-objectivism-and-altruism-continues/

    I don’t much care for the term altruism. As originally conceived, altruism deifies man. Because of how she defined Christian love, as altruistic, Ayn Rand thought Christian love self-destructive.

    If we love God first with all our heart and soul, then because we are His creations we must care for ourselves. Otherwise, how can we exist for His glory? Nonetheless, He commanded us to love each other.

    Anyway, I wonder how you reconcile Christian love with love of one’s self. That is, how do we give of ourselves without being self-destructive? How do we grow in love without being destroyed by the sacrifices it seems to require?

    1 Corinthians 13 is beautiful, but I think it takes more than one chapter in the Bible to explain what real love is.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Hi Tom,

      Thanks for your input and the link to your article. I am not sure if I understand some of your questions, but I will try to address them the best I can with my limited understanding. Please feel free to correct me is I misunderstand what you have written. Thanks for your patience.

      When you say “Anyway, I wonder how you reconcile Christian love with love of one’s self. That is, how do we give of ourselves without being self-destructive? How do we grow in love without being destroyed by the sacrifices it seems to require?”

      I do not understand why giving of ourselves for others is self-destructive. In my mind, it is the exact opposite. When we give of ourselves for others we are simply treating others in a way that is beneficial to others, pleasing and glorifying to the Lord.

      1 Corinthians 13: gives us a listing of many characteristics of a true Godly love. How is it destroying myself by being patient towards other? How is it destroying myself by not envying the possessions of others, or how is it self-destructive to be forgiving towards others? I could ask this question about everything on the list found in 1 Corinthians with the same implied answer… it is not being self-destructive… it is only showing the love of Christ to a lost and dying world. And keep in mind, the more we help others, the more we accumulate eternal rewards in heaven that will be placed back at the feet of our Lord. Although helping others may result in temporal loss of the things of the world, it also results in the accumulation of eternal riches for His glory… is this way we are actually working for our eternal gain by giving temporal things to help others.

      (By the way, the 1 Corinthians 13 passage, I believe is a great list to use to test whether love truly exists in our hearts. 1 Corinthians was never meant to define love, it was meant to give a listing of characteristics we see in the lives of those who truly love. If we find ourselves not treating others as 1 Corinthians 13: describes, there is no reason to believe that we have a Godly love for others. During this study, we will see that Christ exhibited every one of these characteristics in His life over and over again.)

      About the self-love point you are making. Basically, we are to love the Lord first and others second. This does not exclude us from caring for ourselves, but it does exclude us from living selfish lives where we ignore the needs of others for the sake of accumulating wealth for ourselves. The Lord has blessed us with our physical possessions so that we can help others with them, not accumulate them to fulfill our lust for wealth, pleasure and social supremacy.

      It is just as you say we must care for our needs so that we might be able to serve our Lord, but we are to live our lives in His service, helping others along the way. Our motivation for caring for ourselves should be our desire to help others not to enrich ourselves for personal gain.

      I believe caring for ourselves must be motivated by our desire to help others in need. This is why, in specific circumstances, when called upon, we may need to forsake caring for ourselves to achieve the supreme declaration of love…. giving of our lives to save the life of another.

      Christ has set the perfect example for us to follow. He constantly worked for the good of others, gave of Himself for others, while yet taking care of His physical needs. He gave the ultimate sacrifice by dying for those He loved. How much more, if we are called upon, should we be willing to actually die for those whose lives are in jeopardy. It is just as He said, there is no greater love than this.

      I hope I answered some of your questions, if not please let me know.

      Lord bless you Tom.

      • Rob Barkman says:

        By the way, Tom. I just noticed in one of the postings I did use the phrase “definition of love” to describe 1 cor 13. I spoke (or wrote) in error. I should have said “characteristics of love”. Thanks for the heads up! Lord bless.

      • Citizen Tom says:

        Thank you for a thoughtful and considerate response. My question was not an easy one, and I doubt I stated it well. Nonetheless, I think you focused on the main issue.

        I do not understand why giving of ourselves for others is self-destructive. In my mind, it is the exact opposite.

        Consider that Ayn Rand was raise in a communist state, that Socialist governments derive much of their power by forcing the People to be “unselfish.” Therefore, Rand reacted by trying to establish selfishness as a virtue.

        Rand valued love, but she wanted the right to choose the object of that love, and she wanted the right to choose how she would demonstrate her love.

        Because of the concept of altruism, Rand did not have much good to say about Christianity. I think that is because of the use our leaders have made of the concept. Unfortunately, Rand attacked the concept of unselfish love instead of the political abuses of the altruism.

        What I see in your response is the personal nature of love. When someone forces us to be unselfish, that is not love. If we do not love selflessly by choice, we do not love.

        In addition, as you suggested, Christians love with eternity in view. Christ gave his life to save our souls — for eternity — not just to buy us a few more years. And for His sacrifice, those He saved will glorify Him forever.

        Anyway, I wondered if my approach to refuting Ayn Rand’s attack on Christian love made sense. Hence the question and my appreciation for your response.

        • Rob Barkman says:

          Hi Tom,

          Yes, you have gotten the main ideas I was trying to communicate. I understand more about Rand’s thoughts and I do agree with your response. I also read your posting…
          http://citizentom.com/2012/10/30/what-did-ayn-rand-think-of-altruism/

          for more background and I appreciate the points you made in that posting as well.

          A true Godly love for others is an amazing emotion indeed. Truly if we all loved others as we should the world be truly be a far better place!

          Lord bless you, Tom. Thanks again for your blog. You are presenting to our country a much needed message.

  4. SLIMJIM says:

    Great study

  5. >> “There is only one God that exists and our first priority of life is to love Him with our entire being”

    I believe that is the key. Indeed, I think it would be impossible to love others as we should unless we first love God and desire Him above all else, allowing Him to express His love through us.

    I really appreciate this study, Rob, and the added comments. Thanks.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      May we all see emphasized the need to love our Lord and put Him first above all! Lord bless you Angela. Thanks you for the kind words of encouragement. The Lord’s word holds so many truths for all of us! Such blessings to be had from His Word!

Comments are closed.

Translate This Blog Into Other Languages...


Search Our Site For All Your Favorite Postings...


Guide To Our Current Postings…

Currently Being Updated For 2012-2013

%d bloggers like this: