30 Dec 2013 by Natasha Kim CM –
1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Pastor Alex Soh shared the Word at Puchong Tabernacle Assembly, on the 22nd of December regarding the importance of Love. The Bible speaks a lot about love and the apostle Paul even devoted a whole chapter on this subject. According to the Bible verse above in Matthew 22:37-39, the first and greatest commandment and the second is about love, to first love God and then your neighbor.
“There are three directions to love, first you have to love upward (God), outward (Neighbor), and then inward (Yourself)” shared Alex. He then went on to ask everyone a question and that was, “Of all three, which one is the easiest? To love God, your neighbor, or yourself?” His answer was, “Loving your neighbor is the easiest”. Everyone may have their own opinion on which is easier to love. Nevertheless, regardless of which is easiest, focus on being loving, to God, to your neighbor and to oneself. This is done in order to be the best person you can possibly be in God’s eyes, your neighbors’ eyes and in your own eyes.
1) Love God
When it comes to loving God, the Bible clearly states in 1 Corinthians 13:13 that we are to love our God with our entire being. In addition to that, we need to also keep His commandments if we love Him. “When Jesus asked the rich man to sell everything and give it to the poor, and follow Him, the man couldn’t bear to give it up and left. Jesus wasn’t poor and yet this man couldn’t do it” he said.
Have we really followed the commandments of God? Is there any area in our lives that we disobey God? Do not despise God for the things you cannot do. You will know you truly love God when doing things for God, loving him and obeying His commandments comes easy. Love is not to burden you, love is to make you happy.
“God’s commandments are to save you.. and to keep you safe!” shared Alex. God is able to save you when you read and obey what the Bible says and when you are attentive to what the Holy Spirit says to you.
Know now then that the Lord your God is the only true God! He is the faithful God, who keeps the covenant and proves loyal to everyone who loves him and keeps his commands—even to the thousandth generation! (Deuteronomy 7:9)
2) Love your Neighbor
Your neighbor is everyone in this world you may meet, come across, or get to know. Not everyone is able to get along with each other because everyone is different from one another. What someone likes might make another shiver. However, the Bible states that we must love one another as Jesus has loved us.
“Love those who are loveable and unlovable, just do something kind. Don’t hold hatred! I often try my best to not have attitude like “I wish you were dead”. Buy them lunch, isn’t that love?” he said. He added that life is like a mirror, when you smile at people, people smile at you and vice versa. Loving others is not so difficult if you are willing to work at it.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
3) Loving yourself
“You may think it’s the easiest but loving yourself is the hardest. If you could just record your daily conversations and listen to what you say, you might just pick up on the negatives that you speak about yourself” he said.
If you have a problem with yourself, be sure that it will project itself out to the world. Most people will never have enough confidence to realize how valuable they are and how unique God has created them to be. Not one of us is alike but most people want to be the same to fit in. Hence, they change themselves and conform to what people want them to be. In drastic cases, some who do not love themselves, stay in relationships that are not good for them, resort to drug abuse, alcohol or even worse, commit suicide.
If you want to love yourself! Practice and be determined! Loving yourself requires skill just like with any other thing you wish to do in life. No matter what happens, pick yourself up and try again for tomorrow is always a new day. To love yourself you need to encourage yourself!
However, God is rich in mercy. He brought us to life with Christ while we were dead as a result of those things that we did wrong. He did this because of the great love that he has for us. You are saved by God’s grace!
1 Peter 5:6-7
Therefore, humble yourselves under God’s power so that he may raise you up in the last day.7 Throw all your anxiety onto him, because he cares about you.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, 5 it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, 6 it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth. 7 Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.8 Love never fails…”
References for pictures