Loving God and Loving Others

I just read a statement that simply irks me: “Love is a decision – decide to love today.”

Really? And we know this for sure?

What drives me nuts about statements such as this is they are commands. If love is simply a decision, then I can love anybody at any time. Right? Right?

But can I truly love on demand? You are certainly a better person than I if you can love on demand. I can’t do it.

And this is where the Gospel steps in. John tells us “We love because he [God] first loved us” (John 4:19). And John couples this great truth with “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannott love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

And this is good news. I can only love when I see that I am as unloving as they come, yet God in Christ first loved me! And this is my motivation to love others. When I see that God has loved me and demonstrated this great love for me in Jesus on the cross, I can love others because the Spirit of love indwells me and loving others becomes a fruit of the Spirits Gospel-applying work in my life. (See Galatians 5).

And then I can love God and love others upon which all the commands hang.

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