Deuteronomy 6:4-5 – It was often easier for the Children of Israel to recognize and fear the Lord than it was for them to remember to love him.
Matthew 22:35 – This command of love for God and others will never be demoted. This first commandment is still the first. It supersedes doctrinal differences. It is the underlying thing that all other laws and commands are based upon.
Love is hard to measure. There is no window into the mind. There is no “dipstick.” We may talk about it, but that doesn’t prove it exists.
There are a lot of practical ways for us to live out love. Love and obedience are often written of in a manner that shows they are intertwined deeply.
1 John 2:15-16 – There is no way to love something with all your heart unless you stop loving something else. Love is a powerful thing. It can set our course, determine our decisions and ensure our destiny.
We live in an incredible time. A time when the noise of the world turns christianity into something that people mostly just talk about on Sundays.
As time goes on and the world around us continues to change, the true church of Christ will become more and more set apart as we continue to become more like Christ and by doing so, become less and less like the world.
Revelation 17, 21 show us two entirely different women. The pure woman who is the bride, the collective body of Christ, ready to spend eternity with Christ. The contrast between her and the whore could not be more stark.
Because the bride has said yes to one (Christ) she is also saying no to everyone else. The harlot on the other hand says yes to everyone. The church does well to set limits for itself.
There are different kinds of love. The love of feeling and the love of decision.
The world is a beautiful place. The world however is broken. It is filled with broken people. Most of what we need comes from the earth. The food chain. The lumber. The oil. So many things come from the world around us, from God’s good earth.
1 Timothy – Stay humble. Don’t trust any wealth you can have. Wealth is deceptive. God gives us all things to enjoy. God has given us those things to enjoy. We delight in the earth that God has given us, but we do so responsibly. Enjoy it, but don’t love it. Use it but don’t trust it.
Colossians 3:2, John 1:10, John 3:16 – God created and loves the world. Think about how Jesus loved the world. He loves it in a manner that lead to giving himself for the world.
James 4:4 – Don’t you know that a friend of the world means you are an enemy of God? James is talking about abandoning single mindedness and starting to accept other things.
We will struggle with the world around us. How do we live in the world and use it but not love it? Even the legitimate things in life can be a snare.
Who are you serving? Who are you aligning yourself with?
God abhors what fallen man esteems. Any thing that replaces love and devotion to God in the hearts of people is a direct challenge to the single devotion that God requires.
If we are doing things for God’s glory that is a good barometer of how we are doing in this area. Worldliness is a pressure in every age.
Titus 2:11-13 – Grace has come to give us salvation. Grace has also set us on a new path, a path that denies ungodliness and worldliness and the direction we are headed.
Luke 16:26 – There is a great gulf between loving the Lord with all of our heart and loving the world. May that gulf be visible to all those who see us and know us.