Confident in Love
February is the month that many of us think about Valentine’s Day. If we are married or have that special person in our lives, we may desire to do something for them to convey our love. It may be a meal at a nice restaurant, a card expressing our love, candy, and/or a bouquet of flowers. As a child, Valentine’s Day meant that I could place my little cards into my classmates’ bags that were decorated with red hearts.
More than a particular day of expressing love to others, we are commanded by Jesus to love. A lawyer asked Jesus, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? And Jesus replied to him, ‘You shall 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. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ The whole Law and [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.” We say that we love God, but do we obey His Word? Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (Jn. 14:15). He also said, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say." (Lk. 6:46).
The second commandment is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. It is easy to love the loveable, but do we have to love the unlovable? Our Father chose to love us even when we were lost and undone. He received us just as we were. As children of God, we are to imitate our Lord. Jesus said in Matthew 5:44, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” We are commanded to love the unlovable. We must forgive those who come against our families and/or ourselves. I find when I pray for them, my attitude towards them changes. As I spend time in praying for my enemies, I am laying down my life for them. How is that possible? Life is made up of time. Prayer takes time, so when I pray, part of my life is given for them. Those that I lay down my life for becomes valuable to me.
How can all the law hang on these two commandments? If we love God with our everything, we won’t serve any other god; nor would we take His name in vain (Ex. 20:3-7). If we love our neighbor, we will not kill, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness, or covet our neighbor’s things.
The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” Who is Perfect Love? He is the Father, the Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. This does not mean that He will automatically cast fear away from our lives. We must have the confidence that our Lord loves us. When we truly know that He loves us, we will know that we have nothing to fear. Why …Because Love watches over us. He loves us with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3). When fear roars at us, we are reminded of Who holds us in His hands. We resist that spirit of fear, and it has to leave in Jesus’ name. Love is perfected in us as we are confident in that Love.