Matthew 22-23; Mark 12
When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus replied: Love God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.
However, the modern church has seemed to skip over that and rushed to what Jesus called the second greatest commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Our churches are so full of love, they’ve neglected to understand God’s love. We’ve come to believe love is the same as acceptance, tolerance, respect. But is that godly love?
I challenge you to read Matthew 23:13-36 and point out one loving thing Jesus said to the teachers. Is it that he repeatedly called them hypocrites? Or that they are sending people to hell? That they are blind guides, or that they are ignoring the most important aspects of the Law? He called them white-washed tombs. Is that your definition of love?
Well, that’s God’s definition of love. As harsh as Jesus’ words to the pharisees, it’s all about love. Love enough to point out sin – not tolerate it. Love enough to point out their misguided religious beliefs – not accept them. Love enough to call them what they were without worrying about disrespecting them.
Jesus got in their faces. Why? Because He loved them.
If the first and greatest commandment is to love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds, then we must also adopt God’s definition of love. His love sent Him to the cross. I’m worried my love might hurt someone’s feelings. That’s not God’s kind of love.
If I love God sincerely with all my heart, soul, and mind, I can’t help but shout out a warning to people who are rushing to hell, people for whom Jesus died to save.
YOU ARE A SINNER. YOUR BELIEFS ARE WRONG. YOU NEED JESUS. BELIEVING YOU HAVE YOUR OWN TRUTH IS BELIEVING A LIE. YOU CAN’T CHOOSE YOUR GENDER. YOU AREN’T GOOD AND CAPABLE AND WORTHY. YOU ARE A WORM FOR WHOM JESUS DIED TO SAVE. AND UNLESS YOU COME TO GOD ON HIS TERMS, YOU WILL GO TO HELL.
Does that offend you? Hurt your feeling? Make you angry? I love you enough to tell you I don’t care. I care more that you hear the warning and turn to God. I care more that you offer yourself to God and receive what He longs to give you.
If I simply love my neighbor with a love I manufacture, I could easily tolerate, accept, and respect your sin and wrong ideology. But because I love God with all that I am, I can’t do that. Because of that love I am begging you to know Him according to Scripture and through the blood of His Son. There is simply no other way.
I’m praying for you today.