He answered, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
Last Sunday, Pastor Wallace delivers a sermon entitled, "Priority One - Love." I am all ears! As many of you know, I declared this year, 2013, to be the year of "Love." So, I'm anxious to hear what Wallace has to say, wondering if I've been on the right track, hoping to gain new insight when it comes to truly loving others as ourselves.
Wallace begins with John 3:16 - For God so loved the world . . . Love, he explains, is God's first priority. And, it should be ours, too. It's not I'll love if I feel like it, or I'll love this neighbor, but not that one, or I'll love him/her if he/she loves me back.
No! It's all-out, selfless, unconditional love we are to show our neighbors, friends and enemies alike. It is what Jesus commands us to do. Yet, because we have free will, we can choose not to love as Christ loves us. How we break God's heart when our Priority One is anything but love!
Pastor Wallace beautifully illustrates how giving love top tier in our lives changes everything for the better. Softens our hearts. Enlarges our souls. Draws us closer to the Lord.
A young husband, jaded with his marriage, visits a divorce attorney.
"I want a divorce," he declares angrily, "but, not just any divorce. I want her to hurt. Really, really hurt! I want this to be the most painful thing she'll ever go through."
The lawyer studies the man's face for a few moments before he responds.
"I'll handle your divorce," he says at last, "but, you must first do what I ask of you."
"What's that?" asks the man.
"I want you to go home to your wife and, for one entire month, you must treat her like a queen. Put her up on a pedestal. Show her the love you would like to be shown. Then, when the month is up, if you still feel the way you do now, come see me and I'll start the proceedings."
The husband is startled by the lawyer's advice, but he agrees to the terms.
It is three months later. The attorney bumps into his potential client in a coffee shop.
"Why haven't you come to see me?" he asks the husband. "Didn't you want a divorce?"
"Divorce? Are you kidding me? My wife is a queen! I'd never dream of divorcing her."
Because this young man took the lawyer's advice to heart and chose to love, his life was transformed. Are you choosing to love your spouse, your children, your friends, your enemies, your family, your God in a way which transforms you?
Will you pray with me?
We can only love one another, Father, because first, You loved us. While we were yet sinners, You sent Your beloved Son, Christ Jesus, to die for us that we might have life eternal with You. Let us love one another as Jesus commanded. Amen.