Love is a big deal. We all want it. We all need it. We all pursue it.
Disciples confess that the love we all want, and need, and pursue is ultimately found in the God of love who has shown us what true love looks like in the giving of his Son Jesus.
God’s love in the giving of Jesus satisfies all the contours of what our hearts long for when we say we want love—acceptance, affection, protection, provision, and loyalty. You want to know what that kind of love looks like? Look no further than the cross. “By this we know love, that he (Jesus) laid down his life for us…”(1 John 3:16).
Disciples confess that there is no love like God’s love.
This love not only satisfies us and meets our deepest need—it changes us. A simple way to describe this change is love enables love. God’s love for us enables and envisions how God’s love is to be extended through us. And that leads into Jesus’ summary of what obedience to God looks like for his disciples.
The Great Commandment
Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall 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. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40)
Disciples Love God.
According to Jesus, loving God is an all-in attitude that leads to all kinds of actions. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind.” The idea that’s captured here is “Love God with all that you are!”
Disciples love God by having an all-in attitude in their hearts that means they are committed to God and his purposes with the entirety of their being.
In other words, loving God is not side gig—it’s a full time occupation. Disciples are not part time lovers. It’s an attitude of the heart that says, “I’m all-in for God and all that I have is offered up to him through a life of worship.”
Alan Hirsh describes worship as “Offering up my whole world back to God.” My whole world, everything that’s a part of who I am, is for God because I love God.
Loving God with everything we have is in essence coming to God each day and saying,
“Here is my world it’s for you because I love you.
I have time to spend today—it’s for you.
I have words to say—they’re for you.
I have resources to spend—they’re for you.
I have a house I live in—it’s for you.
I have relationships to pursue—they’re for you.
I have a marriage to enjoy & maintain—it’s for you.
I have children to raise—they’re for you.
I have a job to work—it’s for you. If I build things—I build for you. If I teach people—I teach for you. If I stay at home—I stay at home for you. If I drive a truck—I drive it for you.
Everything I am, everything I have, everything I do—it’s for you because I love you. And I love you because you first loved me.”
This is how disciples say, “I love you, God.” It starts with an all-in attitude and it leads to thousands of actions that play out in the daily story of our lives.
Disciples Love God.
Do you? This is what disciples do because of what Jesus has done.
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