Thursday, April 06, 2006

Because He first Loved Me

…The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. 'There is no commandment greater than these.

Mark 12:31

Just before my kids headed out for school this morning, I asked them “who loves you?” My son quickly answered “God does.” Ah, good answer, my church raised boy. Then I asked “who else loves you?” My daughter gives an answer that was as authentic as she is. She said “I love myself.”

There have been times in my life when I didn’t love myself. In reality, “love your neighbor as yourself” is not just a great commandment; it is a statement of fact. I generally treat others with the same amount of love I have toward myself.

My husband and I have been discussing the humanity and deity of Jesus a lot lately. Comprehending either one of those can be an interesting topic. Comprehending both at the same time is a bit more difficult.

In Mark 12:29-31, Jesus is quoting from Deuteronomy 6:4-5 in the Old Testament. The scripture in Mark and Deuteronomy begin with “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Footnotes in my Bible and online commentaries tell me that phrase is recited as part of the Jewish confession of faith.

Now look at John 17:22 Jesus says “I have given them [all believers] the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.”

Whoa. Do you believe that God the Father and God the Son (Jesus) are one? Do you believe Jesus loves the Father? And Jesus loves himself?

Jesus desires that we love each other and are one just as he and the Father love each other and are one.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:6-8

How much do I love God? Truth is, it is revealed not in my behavior but in my attitude towards myself. Do I love because I want to be loved or do I love simply because He first loved me?

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the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

Copyright 2005-2010 Lisa Biggs Crum
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