What’s Love Got to do With It? Part 2
What’s Love Got to do With It? Part 2 – by Brady Tarr
“So This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.“ (1 John 3:16)
“In the last devotional, we looked at Christ’s first commandment found in Matthew 22:37-39 where He commands all those who have repented of their sin and have put their faith in Christ to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
As the second commandment in the above passage implies, one of the most important ways that a love for God is displayed in a Christian’s life is by his/her love for others.As you read the following questions, ask yourself if your answers are a display of an obedient love of God and a sacrificial love of others.
1. Are you faithful to God’s command for Christians to be faithful members of a gospel preaching church (Heb. 10:25)?
2. Are you a faithful example of loving others by giving sacrificially, showing hospitality, pursuing discipleship, etc.?
3. Are you taking advantage of the opportunities that you have to love and serve the poor and defenseless against the injustice that they face?
4. Do you take advantage of being a blessing to others with your legal expertise, time, and money?
5. Husbands are you faithful to pray for, provide for, sacrifice for, protect, and humbly lead your wife?
6. Wives are you faithful to pray for, sacrifice for, help, and humbly follow your husbands?
7. Do your actions, thoughts, and eyes exemplify faithfulness to God and your wife?
8. Singles, are you praying for and being faithful to God and your future spouse while you are single?
9. Does your speech honor God and build up others or do unwholesome words and gossip come out of your mouth (Eph. 4:29)?
10. Do you love others you come in contact with by sharing the gospel with them?
11. Are you careful not to make work, money, or prestige an idol that you worship with your time and resources at the expense of your family and other people?
12. Do your actions toward others display love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control?
13. In the way you relate to others and to God are you pursuing humility and fighting your pride?
14. Are you known as a student or attorney or a Christian student or Christian attorney?
As we can all hopefully recognize, none of us can even come close to saying that our lives exemplify a perfect obedience to God as we answered those questions.I encourage each of you to prayerfully read over the questions again and evaluate what practical things you can, with God’s help, do or not do to love others better.It is a good thing if you think the list is a bit overwhelming (like I do) because if we rely on our own strength, our own will, or our own determination to “do better” we are setting ourselves up for failure and depression (Prov. 3:5).A Christian must understand that having a love for God and others is only possible because Christ has first loved us (1 John 4:19).Our reliance must be on God and not ourselves.
It is much easier to think about ways to love other people when they are pleasant or kind people, but we also need to prepare our minds and hearts to love those who sin against us.When people sin against us, we often do not feel like loving them, but whenever we feel this way we need to remind ourselves that we are to love others as God loves all of us who sin against him on a regular basis.
Let’s take a second to reflect on what God’s love is and how He loves us.Does God love us by just ignoring or looking past our sin against Him?NO!God poured out his terrible wrath that our sin earns us on Jesus Christ who willingly came and died as a substitute for all those who genuinely repent of their sin and put their faith in Jesus Christ.
It would be a misunderstanding of the gospel and of God to think that God simply overlooks or ignores the sins of Christians.Exactly the opposite is the case. God did not overlook or ignore any sin that was committed against him, but poured out His wrath on His sinless Son who died in our place that we might be forgiven for our sin.When we sin or are sinned against, we must remind ourselves of the good news of God’s love and patience toward us. In spite of God’s hatred of sin, he has chosen to love us.
In a similar way, we hate to be sinned against and often don’t feel like loving those who sin against us, but we must remind ourselves that our love must not be based on a feeling, but rather on a conscious choice to love as God has loved us.God’s love for us accomplished our salvation in that He gave us faith and a conviction of our sin that led us to repentance (Acts 11:18; 2 Cor. 7:10).We cannot hope in or trust in ourselves or our work for our salvation (Eph. 2:8-9), but rather in God’s work as the just and the justifier (Rom. 3:26).
As Christians, our love for others will be costly at times when we are wronged, persecuted, taken advantage of, or even killed, but as we approach Easter we must remember that Christ’s love for Christians was costly as well (Eph. 5:25).”This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (1 John 3:16)
I return to where we started (in Part 1) and ask you… What does a Christian’s love of God have to do with his/her life?EVERYTHING!
(one of the best I have ever heard!)
Jesus’ was Less Popular Than a Terrorist – Mark 15:1-15
By Mark Dever
FEEDBACK… I welcome any feedback regarding these devotionals.Feel free to speak your mind.
Father, please cause our minds and thoughts to be consumed with a reverent awe of you and the work of salvation that you accomplished through Jesus Christ. May you help us where we are weak in our faith against sin and unbelief. Thank you for your grace and patience with us. Help us to forgive in such a way that models how we have been/are forgiven by you as undeserving sinners. Amen.