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The Life of Godly Love

(Mark 12:28-34; Luke 6:27-31; John 13:34,35)

Lesson 5 -- first quarter 1999
January 3, 1999

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1998, Christian Light Publications

Since the greatest commandment is "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God will all," one of the greatest questions has simply got to be "How shall I love God?" After all, just how does one love an unseen Someone?

One Christian called another "scum." Can you believe that?! They didn't agree on the issue of eternal security, so the one became scum to the other. Well, for all that I know, maybe the feeling was quite mutual. Whatever the case, I have to ask another question.

What distinguishes the Christian in this generation and in our communities? No doubt the answer continues to vary from place to place and from person to person. But we've got to look beyond such variables to see the ruler established by Christ.

"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:34).

I can readily see that calling another "scum" does not fit at all as a subpoint of "love one another." I've never called anyone "scum," and may the Lord preserve my record. Shall I then indulge my self-satisfaction? Hardly.

How easily I look down on another! How effortlessly I maintain a low esteem for so-and-so! How automatically I rate myself better than he/she/they! That reveals that I selected the wrong ruler in measuring myself and others.

While we want to stand out as those who love God with all, we stumble in loving our neighbor as ourselves. How tragic to distinguish oneself for a lack of love!

So how shall I love God?

"If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" (1 John 4:20). No wonder Jesus said the second commandment is like unto the first!

"For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Galatians 5:14). This ought to keep any legalist busy. (smile) Then again, this would keep the one who says the whole law has been fulfilled just as busy! Incidentally, if you say you don't love yourself enough to love someone else, I urge two more verses to your meditation.

"And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also" (1 John 4:21). "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another" (John 13:34). God wants my love for another to flow naturally from God's love to Him...and God's love to me.

My brother may be wrong and my neighbor may wrong me, but my calling still remains to love. You see, "above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8).

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