Matthew 22:37 (NKJV) Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Always remember that love is a choice you make.
We can either choose to respond in the gift of love toward others or not.
I am learning every day that either you respond in ways that enhance your relationships, or we act in ways that erode relationships.
However, you decide to respond; make no mistake genuine love requires hard work.
In fact, if you desire to build lasting relationships, you must be willing to do some committed work.
Jesus’s words concerning love are intimately clear: we are to love God first, and secondly, we are to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40).
These two commands are some of the greatest challenges you will have in your lifetime. Because of our often-selfish natures and that we are imperfect beings, we often fall short.
Yet, please take notice the Lord urges and commands us to extend ourselves beyond our normal capacities when it comes to love and relationships.
Although love is a choice, let us all be reminded the Lord commands us to respond in relational love.
The desire to follow Jesus is a rigorous commitment to love and forgiveness.
If we are to walk in Christ’s footsteps, we must forgive those who have done us harm, and we must embrace the Lord’s love in our lives by sharing it freely with family, friends, neighbors, and even at times strangers.
I know the questions begin to arise in our minds and hearts if we have the capacity to respond and function in the command of love.
I am suggesting today that you do have the capacity and grace to operate in love.
Always remember love wins even if it does not feel like it.
God does not intend for you to experience mediocre relationships; God created you for far greater things.
Building lasting relationships requires expressions of love: compassion, wisdom, empathy, kindness, courtesy, and forgiveness.
If this seems epic and sounds a lot like work, it is, and it’s directly in alignment with God for your life.
Always remember God knows that you can do the needed work. The Lord knows that the commitment of your response in love will enrich the lives of your loved ones and the lives of generations yet unborn.
We must commit to love even when we don’t feel like it. Our families, friendships, and impact in the world we live in are all in the balance of love “because love wins”.
Unfortunately, not only does this have an impact on our general circumstances, but, when we know we’re not doing what we feel we were put here to do, it impacts our opinion of ourselves.
How often have you started the day with good intentions, but ended it wondering what you achieved?
You know you’ve been busy and you’ve quite possibly helped other people out, but what did you do to push your own agenda and God’s forward?
How many actions did you take in pursuit of your life goals, in becoming the person you know you really are?
Point to ponder
Do you want love to last? Then you must understand this: Genuine love requires effort.
That’s why those who are not committed to loving are often losers in love.
God so love the world that he gave us His Son Jesus (John 3:16). Jesus goes to the cross and gives his life for you and me (John 15:12-13).
Ultimately, we see the victory outcome of this profound choice, commitment, and sacrifice made by God.
Have you ever wondered why our Lord went to this extent for you and me? the answer is “Because Love wins”, have an amazing day!!
Our Leadership team is especially thankful for those of you who provided financial donations and support in the month of August 2018 by partnering with us in efforts to advance the kingdom of God in this 21st century season: Special thanks to Mr. William Wilson, Ms. Annette Straker, Mr. Kenneth Washington, Ms. Mable Bazemore, Mrs. Angela Harrison and Ms. Gertrude Scott.
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Pastor James Baker, Jr.