In Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus says, “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” (ESV). I wonder if you truly feel the weight of those words.

Now, don’t misunderstand me; Jesus fulfilled the Law for us, so these are not commandments that we must keep in order to be saved. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in the finished work of Christ alone; however, true faith never stays alone—true faith plays out in a life of love for God and love for people. Now, you’re probably thinking, but what’s so weighty about that? Well, to understand that you need to understand what Jesus means by love here. The type of love that Jesus is speaking of here is ἀγάπη (agapē)love: divine love characterized by sacrifice in the pursuit of another person’s good… It’s love that is defined by the person and work of Jesus—the gospel…

Jesus’ call to love is weighty… Not only are we to love God like this, but we are to love people like this. And these are tied together for a reason; our love for God shows itself in how we love people, especially His people… We are so quick to say that we love God, that we love Jesus, but do we really? One way we can tell is by looking at our lives; does loving sacrifice in the pursuit of the good of others mark our lives? Do we joyfully sacrifice for the glory of God, the good of the church, and the cause of Christ? That’s what these commandments look like in action. So, you see? This call is weighty.

So how do we get to this point where are lives are marked by this weighty gospel-love? Well, the only way for that to happen is for the love of God in Christ—the love of the gospel to so impact us, transform us, and take root in our lives that we can’t help but love the same way… We need to be so moved by the love God in Christ that we cannot help but love Him. And when our love for Him is true it shows itself in sacrificial love for others. So marvel at the gospel today, and everyday, and beg the Lord to transform your life by and to conform your life to the love of Christ…

I am nothing; Christ is all!

Pastor Nick