Real or Fake
Have you ever been in a relationship where you felt like you were only loved for what you did? Maybe a relationship where you have to spend all your time with the other person or else they will get angry at you. Maybe it's your family that requires all A's because your siblings had a 4.0 GPA throughout high school. Maybe you feel like with God you have to live a perfect life or else he won't love you.
When Jesus was confronted by an educated religious leader, the leader asked him, "Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the law?"
He asked him this because the law at this time was sacred. It was the one thing everyone tried to obey, but eventually failed to obey. The religious leaders at this time tried to obey the law (and even fooled themselves into thinking they obeyed it!). But they failed miserably. God created the law as a way to separate the people he chose in the Old Testament from the rest of the world.
So when the religious leader asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, he paused.
Then he replied, "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
God does not want to rule over us. God loves us and wants US to love HIM.
God not only wants us to love him, he wants us to love each other. In John 15, Jesus talks about this love and how we should love one another. Jesus said, "as the father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept his commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that your joy may be in you and your love may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friend."
In short, love your neighbor as yourself.
Living with Jesus is about a relationship with God. God wants us to love him and love one other. That's it. Ephesians 2 sums this up the best, "It is by grace you have been saved, through faith, not by anything you have done. Not from yourself so that no one can boast".
God wants us to love him because he loves us, and when we love God, he will change our hearts to love one another.
So this week, think about these two questions:
What does a relationship with Jesus look like?
How does that play out in our everyday lives?