The Bible is replete with commands to “hear and do”, “taste and see”, “prove me in this”
but there is something higher than all of this – for God’s ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than ours. LOVE lifts faith above and beyond the call of duty.
“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all
thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it,
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang
all the law and the prophets.”
Jesus Christ came to restore relationships. Foremost, the relationship between God and man as it was in the garden of Eden when God walked and talked with the first man, Adam and his wife, Eve.
Secondly, He not only broke down the sin-wall distances our hearts from the holiness of the Father but broke down every dividing wall that keeps us from loving others.
He tears down walls and opens up the way for the light of His love to shine into man’s hearts.
We love because He first loved us. In Revelation chapter 2, the church of Ephesus is commended for its diligence in works, labor, patience, piety, discernment, and for doing it all for all the right reasons (unto the glory of God), NEVERTHELESS she had one serious flaw: she had left her first love.
To the almost-perfect church doing all the right things for all the right reasons, came the warning to RE-MEMBER from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or suffer the loss of the Lord’s light in her.
Caleb and Joshua were the only two from the preceding generations that God delivered from Egypt that entered the Promised Land yet even though Caleb was one of the two oldest entering in, even though he suffered along with the next generation in the wilderness for forty years, in unselfish love and devotion gave his life warring for five more years for this new generation to receive the promises of Almighty God. He looked ahead with the eyes of faith and saw a nation not the earthly inheritance of Hebron but the nation, the people chosen by God to reveal His heart to the world. This is love so amazing.
This is the heart wholly obedient that God is pleased with. This takes faith to the point of no return. A heart of this caliber does not love for a return of love. It is the greater love of Christ that gave at Golgatha on the cross. This is the open heart that draws us together instead of driving apart. There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear. -1 John 4:18
Relationship is the most important thing in life. Money cannot buy it, “things” cannot keep it and distance cannot destroy it – but without it there is little purpose.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob,
to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not,
And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;
Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.
Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.
And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, To cast out all thine enemies from before thee, as the LORD hath spoken.”
Remember – RE-MEMBER, a joining together again as one body.
As we drink His cleansing blood and eat His nourishing flesh, we are built up, restored, strengthened, healed and made whole in His suffering, death and resurrection and are uplifted to His heavenly vantage point.
Remember – the Church at Ephesus was doing it all right and for the right reasons yet was about to have the Lord snuff out His light in her – today let’s re-kindle and re-member that first love who gave Himself and return to God.
Father, I confess my need for relationship with You and those You have placed in my life. Help me to move beyond selfish desire, comparison, performance and reflection to shared values, unselfish love and openness in my relationships. Amen.