The greatest commandment the Lord gives us is to love. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
The Bible says; “…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). So what does this mean? This means that we are to serve the Lord in obedience and to do as He asks of us. The Bible teaches us that if we love God we will obey Him. Secondly, we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. This means that you must first love and respect yourself before you can learn to love others. Learning to love yourself comes through first entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through accepting Him into your heart to be your Savior; and then asking Him to help you to love yourself and to love those around you, and to do the inner work of the Holy Spirit in your life.
Love is a condition of the heart. It is how you feel about people on the inside, which then manifests in your behavior on the outside. If you love those around you then it will reflect on how you act towards them. It is easy to love those who treat you kindly and who love you back; but it is much more difficult to love the ones who treat you badly. Love, however, does not mean sitting under abuse and allowing people to mistreat you. In fact, sometimes out of love you must correct someone and let them know that their behavior is wrong. The Bible teaches us that God corrects those whom He loves. In this same way, there are times when the Lord will speak to your heart to correct a person. If you do this in love and speak the truth in love then it will yield the result the Lord desires and will not only benefit the individual you are correcting, but it will benefit you as well.
Other times the Lord will call you to “turn the other cheek” and to say nothing. This too is an act of love. In the Bible there were times when Jesus stood up and corrected the people and other times when he stayed silent. A perfect example of when He stayed silent is when Jesus gave Himself to die on the Cross for the sins of the world. The Bible shares with us that Jesus could have called on numerous angels to come and save Him. Instead He stayed silent and went to the Cross. He died a brutal death and then rose again on the third day so that we could receive salvation and live a life of victory. Had He spoken out and fought back, the Father’s will would not have been accomplished. This was the ultimate act of love.
In another passage of Scripture Jesus corrected the people and stood up to their corruption and dishonor. In Matthew 21:12 it says; “And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves.” This is an example of when Jesus did not stay silent. He knew this was a time to speak out and bring the necessary correction. In this same way in your life there will be times for you to stay silent and times for you to speak. When you have to correct someone it does not mean that you do not love. In fact, it means the opposite. It means you are willing to obey the Lord and to speak out in the face of others, even those that you care about. There are times when you might be the only person willing to speak the truth into someone else’s life.
Today we would like to encourage you to seek the Lord and ask Him to place a greater love in your heart. We encourage you to seek Him regarding the times in your life you are to stay silent and the times when you are to speak out. However the Lord calls you to handle a matter, there is power in love and there is power in obeying Jesus Christ. Most importantly, seek the Lord and ask Him to do the work of the Holy Spirit in you so that you can love yourself first and then properly love those around you. To take the first step please pray this prayer aloud to Him;
Dear Lord Jesus,
I ask that You would forgive me of my sins and wash me clean with Your blood. I welcome You into my heart to be the Lord of my life. I welcome the Holy Spirit to guide me, and I ask that You would place a greater love in my heart; and that You would reveal Your love to me, in me, and through me. I thank You for this.
In Jesus Name I Pray,