Christian disciple is a Lover
Mark 12vv28-31:One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
G’day!! I wonder how you would describe “sin”? Well in the bible verses I just read, is my definition of sin. Can you tell what it is? For me it is a failure to love God and a failure to love others. To further back my case on this definition, read what the fruit of the spirit is again from Galatians chapter 5 and you will note that love is the first mentioned fruit in evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence in the disciple.
How do we love God?
The primary way of loving God, is to love others, says the Apostle John in 1 John 4 verse 20. It is easiest to love your friends. It is easier to love those around you. It is even easy to love those you don’t know! But Jesus commanded that we love our enemies! Now that is very difficult and very radical! We see constantly in the media and elsewhere, that regards our enemies, we are to be confrontational or at best to just ignore them! How is it possible to love our enemies? It is only with the help of God and His abundant grace towards us, as we depend on the Holy Spirit to empower us. To only love those who love us, is what those outside the church expect as normal behaviour. But as a Christian disciple, we are to do more and to be seen to love more than any other people! Dietrich Bonhoeffer, said that what makes the Christian disciple different from other humans, is that the Christian disciple is “extra-ordinary”, compelled as they are to reflect their love for God by loving others. We don’t have to like others as friends, but we do have to love them as fellow human beings!
But what kind of love is this?
Is it a friendly love or perhaps a romantic love? By all means, no! It is an agape love – a love that is sacrificial and self-less. This is no soppy plastic Hollywood love! This is tough love! It is a love that is giving of ones very self, in order that the Christian disciple is of service to other people regardless of any relationship between them. The Christian disciple loves other sacrificially, echoing the very way that God loved and continues to love the Christian disciple. The Christians disciple is to be so filled and magnetized with God’s love and grace, that it is an magnetic attraction to others to the majestic goodness of the awesome God that they serve and obey. By loving others in this way, the Gospel becomes attractive and undeniable! The prime hallmark of being a Christian disciple is to love! Can we run out of this type of love? No because it is always topped up by the grace of the God we love, adore and worship.
Finally, love has the primacy over such wondrous gifts like faith, prophecy, and knowledge: for without love, the Christian disciple “is nothing” writes Paul to the Corinthians. Our motive for all things is to be love. Why do you do the things you do? Is it out of self interest or is it out of sacrificial love? Are there any attitudes that you need to change, in order to show the love you have for the God you love and serve?
Remember: your ability to love God and love other people is only limited by your imagination or lack thereof…
For more to think about please read the letter of 1 John chapter 4 verses 7-19. If you have any comments to make on this or any other podcast of mine, please do contact me at http://www.davegroberts.podbean.com I would love to hear from you and if these are making any difference at all to your continual Christian discipleship! Thank you.