"You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself." - Mathew 22:37-39 NLT
If someone were to ask you to define Christianity in one sentence, what would you say? In a nutshell, Christianity comes down to loving God and people. It really is that simple. However, it’s not always easy.
We can only love God and people because He is working in us, giving us the desire and power to do His will (Philippians 2:13). Simply put, our ability to love others comes from God’s strength, not ours.
Understanding this truth can take the pressure off of us. We cannot muster up the power on our own to love others well. This is a verse that lifts the burden off us. We can turn to God to give us the strength to love him and others.
The good news of the gospel takes the burden off us and places it on Jesus. The gospel truth that frames Christianity is good news, not good advice. Advice places obligations on people. Jesus takes the burdens off. No wonder Jesus said, “My burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). The news is the finished work of Jesus on the cross. It is only through Christ and by his strength that we can love others well.
In the Christian life, transformation occurs when we take the attention off ourselves and place it on Jesus. True freedom means being a slave to Christ. When we give ourselves entirely to Christ, we will have the freedom to love others well.
Christianity was never meant to be complicated. It is costly, but it is straightforward. The goal is to keep the main thing the main thing. What exactly is that? It’s loving Jesus, first. When we love Him first, we will be amazed at how naturally loving others become.
How can we show our love for God? It’s by how we love others. It really does come down to loving God and loving people! Understanding the priority of the command is critical. Love God—first—then people.
Our excellent example is God, who loved the world so much that he gave his one and only son (John 3:16). How did Jesus love us? He laid his life down for us. We love because he first loved us.
Today, choose to share that love.
- Why do we need God’s strength to love others?
- Reach out to two people today and tell them how much you love and appreciate them.