One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 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: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31)
The vital importance of Bible Study will have been made clear in the background information you reviewed on the 40 Days of Discipline website last week. Instead of repeating the information which you can read at your leisure on the website (www.40daysofdiscipline.com), we will spend the next four days studying two passages of scripture to examine the importance of Bible Study to our love for God and others. Remember, Love is our overriding theme as we try to make the Disciplines a part of our lives.
It should come as no surprise that the commandments Jesus considered the greatest are about love. Jesus’ thoughts are captured in Mark 12:28-31 (reflected above for your convenience). Please prayerfully read and think about this short passage and then answer today’s questions.
Today’s Questions for comments:
Consider this command in the passage “Love the Lord your God” and answer the following questions:
- What is it about God that compels you to love him?
- How do you think love for God and knowledge of God work together?
Please share your thoughts on any or all the questions.
February 23, 2015 at 4:48 am
Lately I have been pondering this very question. The measure of my love for God is my knowledge and experience of Him. I must know Him to love Him. And since God is love, knowing Him results in experiencing His love. And experiencing His love leads me to love Him more. It is an ‘upward spiral’!
1 John 4:19. We love because He first loved us.
This verse is personal. His love is not just universal or somehow remote. Whenever I sincerely walk with God as I personally know Him to be, it inevitably results in experiencing His love for me, because He is faithful. This experience causes my knowledge (a word which seems so inadequate) of Him, and my love for Him, to grow. Which leads me to want to know Him more, and hunger for His Word, where others’ experiences of Him are revealed, and supernaturally He reveals Himself. And the upward spiral continues.
One of my acquired nuggets of life wisdom is “Obey what you know”. John 14:15 says “If you love me, keep my commands.” When, acknowledging that truth, I obey what I already know, He reveals more of Himself to me and my love for Him grows, in sync with my obedience. Knowing Him is personal and intimate. Such is our God and His love for us.
February 23, 2015 at 3:14 pm
This sums it up for me.
I cannot love someone I do not know so to love God I must have knowledge of him.
February 23, 2015 at 6:56 am
Looking back at the many ways that God has “been there” for me throughout my life, through mymistakes, throughout times of not doing his will, it’s impossible not to love such a God. It’s comforting to know that God doesn’t allow his children to get away with wrong. It helps me remember that I am His, He’s my father, and He makes sure I do his will because he knows what’s best for me. That’s true and perfect love, and for that, I can’t help but love him more and more.
February 23, 2015 at 8:27 am
I couldn’t help but consider the truth that one of the compelling reason for loving God is the fact that it is a command from Him. Therefore, in a sense loving Him is not a choice. Yet, simultaneously, it is a choice because, my love is motivated by the fact that the bible tells me, and i know, He loved me and loves me unconditionally. (Romans 5:8) He loves despite the reality of who I am; despite the fact that he knows me very well and therefore would have many justifiable reasons not to love me as he does. (1 John 4:19). I guess, this is also along the same line of thinking, but I am also compelled to love Him because of His grace and mercy towards me. I continually reflect on the truth that God has not treated me as I rightfully deserve. This thought motivates me to love Him, which for me translate to wanting to do the things that pleases Him.
This then brings me to question 2. For me to please God, it’s best I know what pleases Him. For me to know what pleases Him, requires me to get to know Him as much as I can. Secondly, when you love someone, apart from wanting to know what pleases them, there is a desire just to know more about them. There is a curiosity that needs to be satisfied. As i write the verse that comes to mind is Philippians 3:10, “that I may know Him…”
February 23, 2015 at 10:31 am
These days the word love and like are used interchangeably. I love my car, I love pizza, I love people. Many times we have no conviction about why we love other than it makes us feel good, it’s appealing to one of my senses, or it’s the politically correct sounding thing to say. I’m compelled to love My God because of the knowledge I have of him. The more I grow to know the essence of who He is along with the knowledge of what he did at Calvary, what others have testified, and what he’s constantly doing in my life, enhances my love for him more and more.. Many verses tell us that growing in knowledge and love brings us Grace and Peace, helps us to live Godly lives to name a few of the things I derive from loving Christ.
I guess this also could be a response to the other question.
February 23, 2015 at 10:59 am
You cannot truly love someone you do not know … therefore knowledge is essential.
For me GOD is easy to love.
I am compelled to love GOD because of his awesome power and might. As a fallible human being in a broken world I want something to look up to that is much bigger than myself. I always dreamed of having superpowers and this is the closest I can come to it 🙂
I am awestruck that He will notice me, far less look upon me as worthy of HIS saving grace. I have no illusions about the pain and suffering that is the portion of every man born into this world. I believe there is no other sustainable answer to the brokenness within and without but the one and true living GOD. This I believe because of the positive transformation I have seen in my own life . Through his WORD, prayer and the the godly people he has unleashed in my life I have been set free from guilt, a shame based nature, ungodly aggression and striving to ‘make it.’ Indeed he has shown me a better way. This is why I love HIM.
February 23, 2015 at 11:19 am
“Compels” has a negative context in my mind so I looked up the definition. Compels – a verb – to force, to necessitate or require, to sway.
I’m reading more into the word choice than necessary but I think it has a lot to do with my answer to this questions.
As a child growing in a Christian home I was required to go to church. It didn’t seem optional. I was compelled by the footage in a 1974 film The Burning Hell to turn from sin and avoid the consequence of sin – hell.
As my knowledge of Christ grew to appreciate the great gift of salvation I was compelled to love the Lord. My inner man now knows that fellowship with Christ is paramount and compels me to love the Lord who first loved me. As the Holy Spirit reveals more of who I am and who God is I love Him more.
February 23, 2015 at 11:25 am
His unending goodness and love, despite our imperfections, is what drives my love for the Lord. Regardless of my mistakes and the times when I stray from Him, He is always there. No matter what.
I think that the love for God and the knowledge of God are both journeys that lead to one another. How can you not help but love God when you have knowledge of Him and his goodness? And loving God leads you to search for more knowledge of Him, to draw closer to Him.
February 23, 2015 at 12:48 pm
Oh my goodness, this challenging and brain busting but here goes!!! Right off the bat, I can say that it is is because God is love, God loved me first and God created me to be in intimate relationship with Him. These God principles supernaturally compel me to live out the very purpose I was created for! So how do I think love for and knowledge of God work together? Philippians 1:9-13. that my love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight so that I may be able to discern what is best and be pure and blameless for the day of Christ., filled with the fruit of righteousness to the glory and praise of Christ.
February 23, 2015 at 12:49 pm
Please excuse my typos!!!!
February 23, 2015 at 3:24 pm
If we were to just understand just a little of God’s attributes, how He deals with us, and what He has done and continues to do for us, then i believe that loving Him is a surety on our part.
February 23, 2015 at 7:46 pm
What a blessing to see some powerful themes coming through in the insightful comments made so far today.
• God loves us first – He initiates the cycle by pouring His love in the hearts of believers.
• His love for us is incomparable and it screams for a response of love.
• Bible Study enhances our appreciation of who God is and the depth of His love for us.
These thoughts brought a verse of an “old school” hymn to mind:
Loved with everlasting love,
Led by grace that love to know;
Spirit, breathing from above,
Thou hast taught me it is so.
Oh, this full and perfect peace!
Oh, this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease,
I am His, and He is mine.
Lester, Lee, Joseth, Bridget, TJC, Karen, GSharpe2014, Cuaco, Yasmin and PE, thank you very much for sharing!
February 23, 2015 at 8:53 pm
Sorry for this late post to the first two questions. Over the past few days I visited the site but did not know how to use the blog. However, I made one more attempt before sending a call for help to Elder Norman. I scrolled down to page and read all the insightful contributions.
He is mine after being enriched by yours.
The reality of who He is as presented in His word, that is being powerful, his character and the care he has towards me motives me to love him.
How do you think love for God and knowledge of God work together?
The short answer is that as I respond to his love by loving him, I experience his love even more. His love is experienced in the context of all of life’s realities including pain, setbacks, joy, sorrow, weakness, failure, triumph, et cetera. I get to know Him better and love him more. I times of prolonged trial I have questioned his love due to a lack of understanding and not able to see the big picture. However, he has sustained me through the struggle to see that knowledge of Him includes seeing his wisdom in helping me grow through trials. This leads me to focus more on him and less on me. Love for God and knowledge of God indeed work together. The truth is that there will be new experiences that will come with the changing situations of life that will test this tomorrow, or next week, or next month or next year.
February 23, 2015 at 10:04 pm
What compels me to love God is the ultimate sacrifice he has made for me. Even before i was born, God thought about me. I recall a statement made by someone ” you can give without loving, BUT you cannot love without giving”.
I am also encouraged to love God through knowledge of him by his word. The fact that he will never leave me or forsake me.
February 24, 2015 at 7:38 pm
The response to this particular passage of scripture marries seamlessly with Psalm 42:1 ‘As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.’ It describes as an earnest yearning and vehement longing after the Lord.
It is ‘conjured up’ (for lack of a better word) based on an appreciation that He is ALL in ALL. The Psalmist had a personal walk with God; a relationship and communion wherein the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord had been on full display in such undeniable, unchanging, glorious splendour. The thing is, it is no different now!
When I think about the Living God and all that He is; all the names ascribed to Him, THEN this standard of love he commands, springs forth. He is Creator, Healer, Comforter, Provider, Protector, Salvation, Merciful, Faithful, Love and the list goes on. Taking stock of all of that, the heart is truly encouraged to love as He has commanded, both vertically and horizontally.