Never before have I been able to take such seemingly random passages of scriptures and pull out one particular theme. But the word that jumps off the pages at me is LOVE. Why am I surprised by this? After all, the entire theme of the bible is LOVE.
Webster’s defines love as: A person or thing that one loves, an intense feeling or deep affection, a score of zero. When I think about the greatest love story ever told, it literally takes my breath away that the same God who created the universe would love me enough to save me. His love isn’t simply an intense feeling or deep affection, it goes beyond that. It’s unconditional and freely given based on nothing I have ever done or ever will do. His love evens the score wiping my wrong doings to zero. These passages scream, “I love you and I want you to love me!”
So often the 10 commandments and subsequent rules and regulations are seen as controlling and restrictive to many people. But ultimately, they are easily summed up into two things; love God (commandments # 1-4) and love others (commandment #5-10). When broken down into those two groups they are suddenly less restrictive. You can hear them come from a Father’s heart, one who doesn’t want to watch suffering unfold before his eyes. They are given in love, not to keep score but to keep peace.
The psalmist breaks into praise, recognizing the never ending love of the Lord.
– 4 & 5: For the word of the Lord is upright and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice and the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
– 15: Behold, the eye of the lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love.
– 22: Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
Then finally, how are we to share God’s love with others. If we are truly changed, we will walk in love by imitating God, giving ourselves to those around us just as Christ. As children of light the attitude of our heart and every decision we make should ask is, “Is this honoring the Lord?”
– 1-2: Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ love us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
– 7-10: Therefore do not become partners with them, for a long time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true) and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.
– 18b-21: But be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Dear Lord, thank you for your steadfast love that is never ending. Thank you, Jesus for your sacrifice and for your example for us to follow. Give us strength and wisdom as we approach each day and help us to live each day to the fullest for your glory alone!