Loving God Above All Else

December 10, 2018

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31

 

The scripture says love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. But God always comes first, not your neighbor and not yourself. When we compromise God's word and don't stand for Him and live in obedience to Him because we are supposedly "loving people" or trying "reach people for God" we are deceiving ourselves and dishonoring God.

 

1 John 14:15 says "If you love me you will keep my commandments". So when we compromise God and the truth of His scripture in effort to not offend people or as many Christians say to "love people" we break the first and  greatest  commandment, but in reality we are not truly loving our neighbor either because if we really believe the scripture  is true, the most loving thing we could ever do is to give the gospel to people. Not a partial gospel or a vague statement about the love of God, but the true gospel as revealed in the scripture. The gospel that says all have sinned and deserve the judgement of God, but God in His great love sent His Son to die for us and if we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth that He is Lord of all and the only way to God we will be saved. If we put the second greatest commandment before the first we are way out of line. God must always come first. Our dedication, obedience and love for Him must always come first. We must live holy lives that please Him and out of that, love our neighbor as ourselves.

 

Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.  And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:25-27

 

 

Another reason this gets out of order sometimes is because we do love our neighbor as ourselves, but we love ourselves too much. We are servants of the King. Our lives should revolve around His will and His way. When we put anything or anyone above God we are wrong, ourselves or others. Look at the way the apostles stood for Christ. They preached the truth with such boldness that many people repented and where saved but sometimes they were ridiculed, sometimes they were ran off, sometimes they were beat or stoned and many of them were eventually killed, so don't try and tell me that they took a subtle approach or withheld the truth. 

 Those of us who have been overwhelmed and saved by the beauty and power of the cross will preach about it because we are forever grateful for what God did to redeem our lives. If you are offended by the preaching of the cross, or by the truth of scripture being preached to a sinful world in effort to save them, you need to ask yourself; by what other means are people saved? Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:21 that "For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe". I have been told that speaking the truth to the lost is foolishness and that we need a wiser approach but I have realized that loving God first of all and most of all is the only way to actually love anyone else correctly anyway. So if boldly preaching the gospel to the world seems unwise to the world, I guess we are on the right path. It's the model of the apostles and it's highest command of Jesus and that's enough for me.

 

In Christ,

 

Pastor Joshua

 

 

 

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