Love God.... With All Your Mind ..... October 4, 2020
You shall LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD with ALL YOUR HEART and with ALL YOUR SOUL and WITH ALL YOUR MIND. Matthew 22:37 ESV I have spoken much concerning the mind and its effects on every aspect of our lives. It affects the choices we make, our actions, and our overall decisions. The decisions to love, hate, be kind, or to be hateful, to be faithful or unfaithful.... they all start in the mind. So when we are told by Jesus, that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, and MIND, how do we make a conscious decision to love God? We are told by Jesus the way to accomplish this.
Keep My Commandments: If you love me, you will keep my commandments. John 14:15 ESV This is not something we do simply to appear religious but as a conscious decision to express our love for and to God. If you view his commandments as a list of rules then you have missed the point. When Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment, he answered, “to love the Lord your God.” For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3 ESV. I have been told that we should not be legalistic involving the commandments because we are under grace. Yes, we have been saved by grace but grace does not nullify the commandments of God. Jesus did not come to destroy the law or the righteous requirements of God’s law but to fulfill the righteous requirements of the law. Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Matthew 5:17 ESV Christ did what we could never do. He kept the law perfectly and, being perfect, he became the perfect lamb of God that died for our sin. When we realize that it was for our sin ... lawlessness....that he died, it should cause us to love him much, and keeping his commandments is just one way to show love.
Love One Another: If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 1 John 4:20 ESV....... A new commandment I give to you: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35 ESV The church should be an example to the world of God’s love for us by how we love one another. Let me ask a pointed question... How are we doing? What display of love for each other are we expressing that will cause the world to stand up and take notice? This is not a “beat you up” question nor a “look at someone else for the answer” question, but it is the question that comes down to you and me as an individual. The church is not full of perfect people but rather people who should be becoming more like Christ every day. Are you and I .... (Not the other person, for we have no control over the other person) ... doing what scripture teaches us concerning loving each other? And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. Hebrews 10:24 ESV..... Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10 ESV Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 ESV Feed My Sheep: When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes Lord; you know that I love you. “He said to Him Feed my lambs.” John 21: 15 ESV Two more times in the verses which follow, Jesus asked Peter the question, “Do you love me?” And Simon answered, “Yes.” Jesus told him to tend sheep, and feed sheep. I know we are not Peter and this message was a commission given to Peter, but as Peter was given this task, we, in principle, are given this task to influence those around us. This commission is given to us in the sphere of our influence in the church family, our children, and grandchildren, and personal Christian friends. We are to feed and tend to them with the message and gospel of truth that we have been given by God. This shows the love we have for God when we do what he has called us to do.
Application: All the above ways of loving God will only happen if, in your MIND, you take up the MIND of Christ.
1. Study the commandments of God. If you see any which you are not keeping nor honoring then make a plan of how to do so in the future. That plan should start with confession to God, repentance, and then steps to follow in his footsteps. Note I did not say keeping a set of rules... I said follow in his steps. Jesus kept perfectly all the laws of God, so follow as a child in a simple walk of faith. This is not how we are redeemed, for we are saved by grace. But it is a way to show our love to him.
2. Show love to a Christian brother, sister in Christ, or a person who may need an extra portion of love and grace shown to them. Not because they deserve it but because this is how Jesus has taught us to love. You may say, “ It is just too hard,” to which I encourage you to remember the cross and ask yourself this question, “Harder than this?”
3. Take every opportunity to speak love into or tend to the need of love in fellow Christians. By doing this you will be doing as Jesus commissioned Peter to do.
Remember, being a Christian and showing love is not always easy, but with the mind of Christ it is the calling we have in expressing love for God. When I say it isn’t easy, remember the cross which made possible... Christ...in me. And the name you bear ... the name above every name..... JESUS.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David