Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:37-39
Love God. Encounter His love. Pour it out to others.

I have received a recent revelation on these scriptures: passages, mind you, that we most likely at some point in our Christian walk have encountered. Very often read but maybe not very often fully understood. Because understanding these scriptures require a great lens of the love of God, something not all of us are used to.

You see, the love of God is so powerful, so intense and so jealous that the whole point of loving the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul is actually to open our hearts to encountering His love pouring back into them. Romans 5:5 says the Holy Spirit pours of the love of God into our hearts. It is a two way love relationship: we pour out our love to God and He responds by pouring His love into us in even greater measures. And as more of us is opened up into loving Him, (i.e. our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind) the more room there is for love to pour back in! Jesus is giving us commandments as to what to do, but of course there is a response from God as we do what we do these things!

Without a lens of the love of God, passages like this can very easily turn into a one way religious duty. I used to be that way—thinking I loved God more than He loved me. Can you even believe I thought that possible? But as I walked with Him, grew in my devotion to Him, pouring out my love from the growing areas of my heart, the more love I received back from Him. I am here to tell you—the love of God is greater than we can even imagine! And it is something we can experience, it’s God’s desire for us to experience. It comes from opening up ourselves to Him for Him to pour into. 

But Jesus says there is an equally important commandment that is the premise of Christian faith: to love your neighbor as yourself. You see how this flow of love is going? It goes out to Him, He pours it back into us in fuller measures. We encounter a love and acceptance from Him and we begin to learn how to love ourself as God loves us. As we live in that acceptance, that security, we are then fully equipped to pour it back out to others.

That is the end result and is essential to living out our faith—loving our neighbors as ourselves. True love that is given out from a security and acceptance we have already received ourselves from God. And we show that purity of love out to others. It is a beautiful equation Jesus teaches us and of course would be the crux of the entire law and demands of the prophets. Its the flow of love which Jesus first demonstrated to us. 

So let us pour out our love to Him as He pours it back out to us. Let us be so filled up, so secure in who we are in Him, that we are able to pour it back out to others, most importantly, the people closest to us. Let’s watch and see the transformative power of that love exchange, in ourselves and in others!

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