It is often thought today that people don’t love each other because they don’t love themselves. I disagree. People love themselves. I believe that people don’t love each other because they don’t love God.
Number one: Love is a commandment that we must obey.
Question: The lawyer asked about eternal life.
In Luke 10:26 & 27, Jesus said unto Him, “What is written in the law? How readest thou?” And he answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Number two: Love is a choice we make.
In Revelation 2:4, Jesus, speaking to the church of Ephesus. “Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hath left thy first love.” Notice that they left their first love. Their love did not leave them.
Remember, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If you have lost your first love, He is still where you left Him. He didn’t go anywhere.
Number three: Love is compassion we must have for a dying world.
A concern we have, a desire to give to, and help for others are God’s intentions for us.
Number four: Love is a commandment we need to keep.
Love God first, and you will find it easier to love others.
I John 4:21: And this commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God love his brother also.
It is easy to love each other when we all love our Father in heaven. We are all family. Sure we have our faults. We must love each other anyway. After all, we, as Christians, are going to share the same future.
Here is a hard one. Luke 6:27, But I say unto you which hear, love your enemies, do good to them which hate you. Yes! Love your critics – Jesus died for them, also He desires their salvation, and He wants you to help reach them. So love them.
Love your spouse. Ephesians 5:28, So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Husbands love your wives, even as Christ loves the church, and gave himself for it. Love your spouse. Men and women, your spouse should be your best friend? Marriage vows should be kept. If you don’t love your spouse, you are breaking your covenant with God.
Love your children!
Psalms 127:3, Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
A happy man has his quiver full. God gave children for happiness. There is no better helper than a Godly child. God gave children for wholeness, so love them.
God wants men and women in a marriage to produce a Godly seed according to Malachi 2:15, And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a Godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
Love God first! Love is a commandment we obey. Love is a choice we make. Love is a concern we have. Love is a commitment we keep! (Frank Welch is director of missions for Salt River Baptist Association and is a member of the Missouri Baptist Convention Executive Board. This column originally appeared in the association’s February newsletter.)