And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. –II John vs. 5-6

The two Great Commands of Matthew 22:37-40 sum up all the Old Testament and also is the motivating characteristic of the New Testament— Jesus 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” (Matthew 22:37-40). The Apostle Paul said that “For Christ’s love compels us…” (II Corinthians 5:15). Without God’s love in service we are nothing (I Corinthians 13:1-3). Here in the context above and in John 14:21 we are told that “this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands.” Those who say they love God “but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him” (I John 2:4-5). Application of the love for God is active, not passive!

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us” (I John 4:7-12). Yes, the first of the Great Commands is to love God and the second is to “love our neighbor as you ourselves.” This command is repeated often in God’s Word (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 19:19; Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31-33; Luke 10:27; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8). We would do well to give heed to a command of God that is repeated so often!

The love of God working in and through His people is a powerful testimony. Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). Do people know that we are His disciples by loving as God commands us to? May it be so!

Dear Father may I love as You desire me to as I walk through this day and every day. May it be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son, Jesus.

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