by Clifford Owusu-Gyamfi on Friday, August 26, 2011 at 10:07pm
“Don’t think the people in the church love you. It is God they love that’s why they are always in the church.”
What an amazing observation by a muslim? Could it be that we are able to love God and love not our brethren or love less? What does the Bible say about love?
The concept of love as thought by the Bible is the foundation of all doctrine. Paul said, “Love is the greatest” I Corinthians 13:13. Jesus said (which we are soon to look at) that without love, the Law and the prophets have no foundation.
What Jesus thought about LOVE
In Mathew 22 verse 15-33, Jesus faced cunning questions from the Pharisees and Sadducees. Having wisely silenced them by His answer, one of them, an expert of the law according to verse 35 put Jesus to test by asking “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law.” Understand that the lawyer was not asking Jesus about the greatest commandment in the Ten Commandment. He is asking about the greatest commandment in the Torah (The books of Moses) since he was an expert or “authority” over it.
In verse 37, Jesus responded by making His references in the Law or Torah. “O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31.
- “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one Lord” Deuteronomy 6:4
- “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:18
After the lawyer heard this, he said, “Well, Master, thou hast said the truth” Mark 12:32
Many of us think that by this answer Jesus introduced a new commandment. Not really so. This wasn’t the first time love was introduced among God’s people. He only extensively talked about it since it has been in existence and even the lawyer knew about this. Jesus said that “The Law and the prophets hang on it.” And when Jesus said that He meant from Genesis to Malachi. So all the prophets from whoever to whoever knew this concept of love.
Now to understand my friend’s observation, we must first observed that,
- We must love God and
- Love our neighbors as ourselves
If you read back Mathew 22:39, it begins like this “And the second is like it: ” To love your neighbor is equally as loving God.
We cannot take one and leave the other. John said, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” 1 John 4:20
If we think we have a deeper relationship with God, it must reflect equally in our relationship with ALL MEN! If you see yourself fallen short in one of these, then it means it’s because you love God that’s why you are in the church. But believe me it doesn’t work that way. Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself. These are the two apartments of the heart.
Some practical examples:
- Smile to all
- Greet all
- Listen to all
- Be ready to help
- Be happy to have people around you
- Love to be closer to people
- Love to share
- Be always ready to give if you have
- Do not judge others, etc
If you do these, “You are not far from the kingdom of God” Mark 12: 34