Love Comes From Our Great Love

Dear Friends:

Christ remarked that the most important command was to “Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength”. Later He said that if we wanted to follow Him the distinction between our loyalty to Him versus our loyally to others should be similar to comparing “love to hate” — i.e. very different and distinct! But in light of what some Christian authors say and others preach, as well as some model, I wonder what has gone wrong with the church. Do I love God with all my being, and is my love for His Son so focused and concentrated that no one else comes even close? If I loved God with all my being would I not be more concerned about His Kingdom and His righteous than the opinion and praise of others? If I was truly in love with God would I not stand up for the things done or said that stands in the way of the gospel of Jesus Christ being spread?

If I loved God the father and His Son first and foremost I would be a man that chose to love what HE loves and despise what HE despises. I would be a man delighted in doing things — even things no one else took note of — that pleases Him! My focus each day would be on reminding Him verbally, in deed and in small ways all day long that I really do LOVE Him. I think anyone that attempts to out-love God finds himself to be the most satisfied “vanquished” in that competition of the universe! You simply cannot out—love the source of love… but it’s an effort in futility well worth the effort.

Sometimes I wear myself out trying to receive love back from beloved people in my work, life, church, family, or community that are simply incapable of giving back. If I am not careful I will become bitter and find that I am stingy with my love in the future. But if my love is focused upon Him ALONE I soon find that not only does He give back His love — pressed down and overflowing! — but that I am able to give a far more selfless and undemanding love to those He places in my path.

If I seek His love first, I am filed to the brim with a love that exceeds all my hopes and I become a vessel of love to others. But if I am first seeking the love of others I will never be satisfied.

He made me to receive His love, then to return my love to Him as best I can, and then allow Him to teach me how to love others and expect nothing in return.

That is my first step in evangelism.

Dean Barley

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