I was talking with some friends and have, as of late, heard much about the “law of love”, and this is what Jesus brought. Most have heard it taught the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart and the second is love your neighbor as yourself-this for me being the “law of love”. Jesus goes on to say these two commandments sum up all the Law and all the Prophets (Matt22:37-40). In this fuller context we need to realize it was Pharissees that were asking Jesus what the greatest commandments are, they were trying to trip Him up and Jesus answered from the Old Testament in which the Pharisees were well versed (Deut. 6:5 and Lev. 19:18). It is very important to remember Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets that He was speaking and teaching from(Matt 5:17). Which Jesus did upon the Cross. We also need to remember that the first statement declared by John the Baptist was to REPENT FOR THE KINGDOM IS NEAR. Which was telling the people it was time to look and see things differently, to change the way they have thought of things. So, as I am understanding when I have been involved in talks or teachings regarding the “law of love” is that we are required just these two things: to love the Lord and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Well I am just going to confess to God and everyone that reads this:
I can’t do this!!! I fail miserably at doing this. You can ask my husband, sons or friends. What is even worse is that there are times I can’t even love myself, so how in the world am I going to love my neighbor as myself??? Or how in the world can I love God with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength?!?!? I don’t know about you but I have not found a way to assure myself that I am fully loving God the way Jesus said to.
Please note all the “I” statements and also the fact that it is “MY STRENGTH” in the above paragraph. Well, I am here to tell you, only by the grace of God, I don’t want to do anything in my strength, because it ALWAYS FAILS. That and it produces pride in my own ability. So, I fully admit I can not fulfill those commandments nor any of the others that were written on stone, only Jesus Christ could do that. Trust me, we can read through the Old Testament and see ALL of those people that could not produce the correct behavior to line up with all the commandments and fulfill them after they were given on Mt. Sinai. God never intended for us to live this way, that is why He sent His Son, Jesus.
Jesus is love. The true definition of love (But that is for another post). When you read the love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13 replace love with Jesus. See the people of Corinth were putting gifts before Jesus and when that happens you sound like a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. Paul was just showing them that Jesus is where you set your eyes and then everything flows out of Him through you. Let me explain a little further…..
The one thing God requires of us now, after the Cross, is to believe (faith) in His Son. See this is what I mean when I say believe who you are and Whose you are.
Here is the scripture:
Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. (1 John 3:18-24 NASB)
Now we need to understand that the only way we can love one another is to believe in Jesus. This is His commandment. Note the use of the singular in the word “commandment”. The single commandment is to believe in Him and the rest flows out of that belief (faith) in Jesus. Compare it with scripture found in Galatians 2-3, Romans 10:9 and Hebrews 7:28.
We also need to understand God is love. As we abide in the Vine, Jesus, we set our eyes on Jesus. it is when we set our eyes and rest the Vine feeds us (John 15:4-5), flows through us and what flows through us, as we rest in Jesus, are His attributes, which the first one is Love (Galatians 5:22).
I in myself do not create the fruit but the One in me, the One I rest in does. Simple.
I am grateful that in and of myself I do not have to come up with the fruit of love! Because I can’t. I am thankful that Jesus Christ came and fulfilled the Law and the Prophets and I don’t have to. I am thankful ALL I have to do is believe in Jesus! I am also thankful that I rest in the Vine, which causes me to focus on the Vine and He, the Vine, creates and works in me His fruit because all I am is a branch. This defines who I am and Whose I am. So very thankful to My Father in Heaven.