So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor.13:13)
The foundation of every command God has ever given is love. Jesus taught us the two great commandments: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matt.22:37-40, ESV). Jesus’ summation of man’s duty to God and to his fellow man is to love supremely. It should come as no surprise that the statutes of the Lord are built upon love, for God is love (1 John 4:7-8). Everything that God has ever done for man has emanated from the wellspring of pure, divine love. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…” (John 3:16). “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom.5:8, ESV). “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10). The Father has taught us what it means to love. He has shown us that love is actively seeking the greater good of the one loved, that love is shown and not merely told, that love is sacrificial and giving even when such love often goes unrequited. We should love one another as God loves us. We should not love simply because someone has shown us love. We should love one another so that we can become more like our Father. “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1 John 4:11). “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12). “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently” (1 Pet.1:22). “Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law” (Rom.13:8). “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col.3:14, ESV). “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Pet.4:8, ESV). Let us make sure that we love in deed and in truth instead of in word and in tongue (1 John 3:18)!
“Loving God, thank you for showing us the measure of true love in the giving of your Son. Thank you for the life he lived to show us how to love. Help us to love others as you have loved us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”