Love ”“ What’s Really Important!
”What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. No, not just for some but for everyone.” Many of you are familiar with these lyrics by Hal David, music by Burt Bacharach, and recorded by Jackie DeShannon. Released over 50 years ago these words hold the test of time as they still are true today. Love seems to evade the world.Â Maybe it is because we are just in too big of a hurry.Â We can’t wait for anything; whether the kettle to boil, the internet to come up, or the text to go through. We are squirming, tapping our foot impatiently, and sometimes we just get downright ugly. It certainly isn’t the way to show love.
Traffic seems to snarl up our impatience the most and I must confess that sometimes as I travel during the peak traffic times like around lunchtime and the 5 o’clock hour I lose my love for the world too. I often find myself huffing, puffing, and stressing out with anxiety as I have places to be and people just don’t seem to drive like I think they should. Perhaps you heard about the woman in Kalamazoo, Michigan that didn’t think people drove the way she thought they should either.
The woman was apparently very stressed on the busy boulevard and was really tailgating an honest man who was driving as he should. Suddenly the light turned yellow in front of him and he did the right thing by stopping at the cross walk, even though he could have accelerated and beaten the red light through the busy intersection.Â Let’s just say that this didn’t set right with the tailgating woman behind him. She not only hit the roof but her horn as she screamed in frustration at missing her chance to get through the intersection.
As she continued to scream, yell out, and blow her horn, a very serious police officer walked up to her window and ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was then searched, finger-printed, photographed and placed in a holding cell.
After a couple of hours, an officer approached the cell and opened the door. She was then escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects. He said, ”I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing up a blue streak at him. I noticed that your license plate holder said, ”˜Choose Life’ with the Christian fish emblem. You had one bumper sticker that asked, ”˜What would Jesus do’, and another said ”˜Follow Me to Sunday School’. The sticker on your back glass said ”˜Honk if you love Jesus’ and as you laid on your horn it didn’t seem you were celebrating your love for Christ. Naturally, I had to assume that you had stolen the car!”
How does your love reflect to the world? How do you show your love for Christ? This week our focus verse clearly tells us that if we love God then we must keep His commandments. Loving God is doing more than making a claim of love, we must live the life personally and with a great reflection so others will also see our love. The beauty of all of this is that loving God and keeping His commandments do not create a hardship.
Showing our love for God is not only ”talking the talk but walking the walk.” Our life must be more than just talk, as that is cheap. Our life should reflect fully our love for God which will in turn show our love for others. Following the commandments though may not always seem to be easy but God even provides a provision for that. He tells us clearly that He will help us when we struggle if we ask Him to. Our burdens will not be heavy if we turn them over to Christ.
Our lives must reflect that we love God by following His commandments. If we ask He will help us along the way with our struggles making it easy to love Him by following His law. We must recognize though that loving God is more than an emotion or word, it is an outward demonstration of following His will. By following His will from our heart with true love we receive the free gift of the grace of God. Our life should reflect our love to God which will in turn reflect our love for the world. For as the song says, ”What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It is the only thing that there is just too little of. No, not just for some but for all.” Won’t you let your love for God shine through in your actions today by following His commandments?
Loving God means keeping His commandments and His commandments are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3 NLT)
A Relationship Built on Love Follows the Code
A life that reflects love for Christ is created by following His commandments. Just how important is following the code of commandments? In August of 1992 Hurricane Andrew bounded into the coast of southern Florida. A TV news camera crew was on assignment filming the widespread destruction in the aftermath of the storm. They noticed in the midst of the devastation and debris there was a house that didn’t seem to have any damage. They asked the home owner, ”Why is your house the only one on this block that is still standing? How did your house manage to escape the severe damage of the hurricane?” The man replied, ”I built this house myself and I built it according to the Florida state building code. I was told that a house built according to this code could withstand a hurricane. I did, and it did. I suppose no one else around here followed the code.”
God issued a code of commandments, Jesus made them simple to understand. A life built upon the code of God will stand with Him in the end. The code followed with life on earth is a life that finds peace in the conflict and one in which love is the leader. So what exactly are these commandments, is it the famous 10, found in Exodus 20:1-17? Well in a sense, yes but Jesus put them more simply in Matthew 22:37-40 as He reduces the 10 to 2. He says, ”You must love the Lord, your God with all your heart, all you soul, and all your mind.” Then He says that the second is equally important and that is to ”Love your neighbor as yourself.” He doesn’t get rid of the ten but He points out that all of the laws or commandments fallÂ upon these two things. If you concentrate on all you can do to show your love for God and others, then you have fulfilled the other ten.
Recognizing that loving God and following the commandments are necessary otherwise you are demonstrating that God isn’t important and that your own desires are more so. God has built-in though a way to help live these commandments to the best of your ability and that is by providing the Holy Spirit to help. So even when it seems hard to follow the code of law for God, know that the Holy Spirit is only a cry away. When you live your life attempting to follow the commandments as close as possible your life will reflect the commandments both privately and publicly not only showing God your full love but showing others as well.
Do be beware however that only following the codes or commandments you like just doesn’t cut it. Â Partial obedience is still disobedience as you can’t do the wrong thing in a right way. Faith is necessary for obedience for there is no religious practice or ritual that will make up for sin only the faith and grace of forgiveness. Disobedience to the code of God’s law often comes from arrogance and selfishness where the ends do not justify the means. Jesus however provides the ease of following the code as He said to come to Him with our burdens for if we will just follow Him then He will help us if we are doing all we can to follow His commandments. (Matthew 11:28)
It is through faith that we are saved and it is through faith that we will find peace. However, overarching it all is love, for it is for love that He does all for us and it is through love that we should follow the commandments He has set forth.
What are you willing to do for love? Will you follow His commandments today bringing love to Him and to all? For what the world really needs now is love.
Love in Christ,
There was a woman who went to the Post Office to mail a gift to a friend. The clerk looked at the package and said, ”Is there anything breakable in here?” The woman immediately responded, ”Yes there is a Bible with its commands in that box.”
What are your thoughts? Join Us in Discussion
Do you find it hard to follow the commands of Christ? Does your life give a good reflection of loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind? Do you love others as well as God? Join us in discussion on showing love to God and others by obeying the commandments.