October 2, 2019 –
The Bible reveals two fundamental reasons for the two Master Spiritual Strategies:
- The first sin in the Garden of Eden showed humanity’s unwillingness to love and serve God.
- The second sin —Cain’s murder of Able— revealed humanity’s unwillingness to love and help his neighbor.
Master Spiritual Strategy 1. Love God with All Your Heart, Soul, and Mind— Matthew 22:37
Because God is love, love is the means of walking with God. Those who love, walk with God; those that don’t love, don’t walk with God.
“God is love” is not just a statement about God. It is also His motivation for everything He does. Love gives meaning and purpose to His every action. Because God is love, we see Him not as an impersonal “cosmic principle” but as the Father who is the initiator of love; it is He who “first loved” and empowers us to respond to that love by loving Him and our neighbor.
The degree to which we love as God loves proves our discipleship and verifies our Christian status. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God” (1 John 4:7b, 8a).
WHY LOVE GOD? BECAUSE THIS IS ESSENCE OF FAITH
The Bible provides nine reasons why we are to love God.
- “God is Love. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in Him” (1 John 4:16b).
- “God loved us first. We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
- God sent His Son into the world so that we might live through Him. By this, the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9).
- God commands it. “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5).
- God created us. “And God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).
- God is the source of love. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God” (1John 4:7).
- God knows our voice and hears our prayers. “I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my supplication” (Psalms 116:1).
- God rewards those who love. Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). “And we know that God causes all things to work together for those who love God” (Romans 8:28).
- God knows those who love Him. “But if anyone loves God, he is known by Him” (1 Corinthians 8:3). “He who has My commandments and keeps them he it is who loves Me; he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him” (John 14:21).
God paints an exciting picture of the future for those who love Him, and He wants us to prove our love for Him by loving our neighbor.
NEXT WEEK: Master Spiritual Strategy 2. Love Your Neighbor as Yourself (Mat. 22:39)