8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,”[a] “You shall not covet,”[b] and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”[c] 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:8-10.
Jesus was asked by one of the religious leaders what is the greatest commandment. The Lord responded to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love thy neighbor as thy self. The foundation of all that we do in Christianity is love. We are called to love God with everything that is with in us and to love those we come into contact with on a daily basis.
The love of God is much different then what the world considers love. The world speaks of love as a passing feeling or as an emotion. In the original Greek there are four different words that are used to describe different levels of love. The love the Lord speaks of loving ones neighbor as they self is something called an agape love. It is a sacrificial love that is not based upon emotions or feeling, but is based instead upon choice and sacrifice. The love Jesus demonstrated for us is agape love. Jesus chose the cross. He didn’t have to go to the cross, but He chose to go to the cross because He knew we were lost and in need of a savior and the only one who could save us was Jesus.
We can determine our maturity level with the Lord by examine the love we have for other people. When I speak of the love we have for other people I am not referring to those that you get alone with or who are your close personal friends. I am talking about the love we have for those who are like oil and water with us. They are people who may rub us the wrong way, people who have wronged us in the past, people who may have offended us at some point. We must remember what the Lord said upon the cross and His attitude as He said Father forgive them for they know not what they do.
The decision to love another person when we are driven by the love of God is not based upon emotions or feelings, it is based upon a choice and it is being able to see the value in each person we come into contact with because they have been created in God’s image. We must remember that those who oppose and stand against us are not our enemy. Our battle is not against flesh and blood. We are called to love our enemies and if they strike us on the cheek we are called to turn the other one also.
Let us simply be people who are filled with God’s love. Let us reflect the character of Christ in every area of our lives. Let us draw near to the Lord with our whole heart and as we study and consume His word we are transformed from the inside out.