“…love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments.” 2 John 1:5b-6
A question often posed and seldom answered in a practical, “take responsibility for your actions” way: “What is love?” And here is the answer. Can it be any more simple than this??? It is a definition of loving one another that I have never taken note of, yet, in the moment my spirit was awakened to it, my thoughts on loving my neighbor were forever changed.
Loving my neighbor is here defined as walking according to God’s commandments. We can best love each other by living a life that pleases and honors the One, true God.
“Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God…” 2 John 1:9a
And John continues by using this definition as a way of “proving” our salvation. I can claim love, but do I obey Christ? I can claim Christ, but do I live it out practically by loving people? What an eye-opening truth about love! A re-enforcement of the command to love God above all else, and in so doing, we fulfill the second: to love one another. It seems clear then, that, although the Christian life is NOT to be lived or defined by formulas and rituals, that Christ gave us a simple equation to satisfy our human need for a formula to live by: If you love Me, you will obey My commands. And if you love Me, I mean REALLY love Me, you will fulfill My second most important requirement of you.” (John 14:15) No long list of dos and don’ts. No shame. No bondage of slavery to some nagging being trying to control me. No! Rather, a list of the freedoms available to me as I live a life characterized by love…a Love that is a WHO, not just a what. A love that runs screaming at the top of its lungs “Love me!!!!!! You will be ruined for anything else!!!!”
It can clearly, therefore be reversed to say that, if my life does not consistently testify of my love for God through my love for people, then I must evaluate if I even truly know the God I claim to be rescued by.
O Lord, may my life ever be marked by, first, a love for You, void of any self-preservation or consciousness. And, second, a deep love for the people You gave it all to rescue! Love, I am truly undone….and there is no going back! 🙂