Word of the Month

To love Jesus

May 1999

The Lord Jesus once pointed out an interaction which we do well to recognise: If one loves him, then one keeps his commandments, and one keeps them, because one loves him.

The many laws and commandments, given to the people of the first covenant, were reduced by the Son of God to: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" and "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (cf. Matthew 22 : 36 - 40).

It is perhaps not the easiest thing to love God above everything else, to always accord him first place. It is also often difficult to fulfil the other commandment, namely, to love one's neighbour as oneself. Despite this, if they try, it is possible for the children of God to keep these commandments. "Because" so the apostle Paul emphasises, "the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us" (cf. Romans 5 : 5). If we give this love room, so that it can develop and grow, then we receive the strength to fulfil the commandments of Jesus.

God loved us first. Long before the birth of Jesus the prophet Jeremiah spoke of the great love of God who said: "Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee" (cf. Jeremiah 31 : 3). Out of love for mankind God sent his Son and out of love, Jesus Christ sacrificed his life for the redemption of fallen man and to preserve him from the claims of the evil one. This love is valid for us too, who walk this earth some two thousand years later. If we consider what powers are developed in the love of God, to win our souls, then it should not be too difficult to reciprocate with our whole heart and soul and mind and, over and above that, to meet all people on a level without any prejudices, with friendliness and helpfulness.

This we should do all the much more keenly since there is a great promise connected to it, given by the Lord Jesus who said: "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him" (John 14 : 21). Can there be anything more beautiful?

The love for Jesus is the secret to our strength. Out of this love springs the strength to believe, to offer, to follow. And in return the Lord reveals himself to us in his Word of truth, which brings light and life and leads us to freedom, peace, joy and consolation.

Most sincerely,<br/>

Richard Fehr