LOVE AND LOVING – IT’S A GIFT – Ray E Horton
Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” What are His commandments? Jesus tells us in His Word: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself‘” (Luke 10:27). And “… he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law” (Rom. 13:8).
How Do We Love Like Jesus?
The two commandments that encompass all others, Love God, and Love your neighbor, are in that order for a reason
Jesus further expounds on this in John 13:34, saying “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
So how do we do that? How do we love with His kind of love? Romans 5:5 says that “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” The Holy Spirit has placed God’s kind of love within us; so, how do we appropriate it?
I’ve wanted to love others more for years. I’ve only recently come to realize that the two commandments that encompass all others, Love God, and Love your neighbor, are in that order for a reason. I must love God first, then I’m empowered to love others. How do I love God? Well, it’s more than a head knowledge of His goodness and His love for me in dying and rising for me.
I remembered a supernatural love I experienced for God and others right after being Born Again and Baptized in the Holy Spirit. I began to wonder about everyone I saw, what are they going through, what made them the way they are? I was experiencing the Lord’s compassion.
The Way Back
And I’m beginning to see, experientially, the way back to that first love. It is by drawing close to Jesus, crying out to Him to experience more of Him, praying in the Spirit, praising and thanking Him, getting to know my Lord, trusting Him and expressing it, recounting His faithfulness, developing that rich relationship in His presence. The more I do that, the more His grace of love within me for Him and everyone else is manifest in my life.
It’s all grace, all gift! It’s not me; it’s not my works or abilities! Oh, what a glorious, wonderful God we have. He gives us the love with which to love. Drawing near to Him enlivens the Word, makes me sensitive to His “still small voice“, opens doors of opportunity and divine appointments and gives me more than just the desire to do good and serve Him and love others, it motivates and empowers Me and spurs me on.