Taken By Love

The GREATEST GIFT in the history of the world is God giving His only begotten Son to suffer and die for us so we can have eternal life (John 3:16-17).

The GREATEST COMMANDMENT for us to obey is to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:28-34).

The GREATEST HONOR is to know Jesus and enjoy a beautiful relationship with Him as we live by faith. And, as we grow to know Jesus better our primary reason to live for Him becomes love. We love Jesus because His love for us is so compelling and captivating that it draws us to Him. Paul writes in II Corinthians 5:14, “the love of Christ controls us”. It is possible Paul is referring to the love he has for Jesus; however, it is also possible (and I think more likely) Paul is referring to the fact that the love Jesus has for him is so amazing it compels him to live for Jesus with total commitment – it’s like Jesus’ love leaves Paul no choice.

Charles Hodge, in his book Amazing Grace, aptly writes, “When man gets the cross the cross gets the man”. The degree of love and loyalty we have for Jesus is directly related to the amount of time we spend studying the cross of Christ at Calvary. Paul also wrote, “I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (I Corinthians 2:2). Don’t waste another day – use every day to get to know Jesus better than the day before. You will better appreciate the GREATEST GIFT, and you will better obey the GREATEST COMMANDMENT, and you will live out the GREATEST HONOR in this world as you experience Jesus in your life to the point of being taken by His love. Read Mark 12:28-34 and John 14:6-24. Then listen to Taken By Love by Kutless.

Mark 12:28-34

One of the scribes came up and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher; You have truly stated that He is One, and there is no other besides Him; and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And then, no one dared any longer to question Him.

John 14:6-24

Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.

If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

Philip *said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus *said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own, but the Father, as He remains in Me, does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, so that He may be with you forever; the Helper is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him; but you know Him because He remains with you and will be in you.

“I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. After a little while, the world no longer is going to see Me, but you are going to see Me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I in you. The one who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will reveal Myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) *said to Him, “Lord, what has happened that You are going to reveal Yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will follow My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him. The one who does not love Me does not follow My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.