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Main Thing image

Love God

Love is such a personal, relational kind of thing.  God from a human perspective is unseen for the most part and not relational in the same way a fellow human being sitting across the table from us is.  To love God seems to be a great reach, but it is, in fact, full of great riches. 

Jesus is questioned about the main thing and responds with this recorded in the Gospel of Matthew:

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.  Matthew 22:37-38 (NLT)

Jesus places this at the top of the heap.  It is essential to an understanding of the Scriptures.  It is a demonstrated reality in the life of the only perfect human being to have ever lived.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.  Give this all you’ve got of all of you.  That is big stuff. 

God is the designer of personal and relational.  He is personal and relational so it just flows from who He is.  God is love, and as such He knows love and how it works and what it takes.  His love is uncorrupted, undistracted and unlimited.  As humans broken and living in a broken world our love is a good thing, but it may be corrupted, distracted and limited.  By learning to love Him we learn more of love so that what is manifested toward God may also be shown toward our fellow human beings. 

Loving God begins with God loving us.  He opens the way for us. The Apostle John who knew Jesus personally and learned love makes a point of this: We love each other because he loved us first. 1 John 4:19 (NLT)  God loves and reveals His love to people through His creation, through His provision, through His communication, but this really shows up in the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.  Paul captures that in Romans 5:8: But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Imagine a human being, you and me, can embrace God and His love.  We can receive Him and something amazing happens.  But to all who believed him (Jesus) and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12 (NLT)  God loves and reveals that love in Jesus.  Those who believe and accept Jesus have the right to become family with God.  There is love.

The response to love by an open and honest person is to love in return.  To love God is a real response.  As a person loves God and stays near Him in daily living God provides additional ability to love His way.  It comes by way of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit comes alongside with divine unlimited, pure love to empower that person.  The fruit of the Spirit includes love.  More love to love God with and more love to love others with.  This relationship with God really is incredible. 

So keeping the main thing the main thing does meet some obstacles along the way.  Decisions in life that distract from the main thing.  Sometimes self-centered interests crowd out the love of God.  Good intentions and busyness with good things push out the best.  There is an enemy who is interested in destroying people who love God.  But God’s resources are available to stay on track and keep the main thing the main thing.  And in that there is an abundant life.  Jesus describes it this way.  The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10 (NLT) Life can be so good when keeping the main thing the main thing. 

The main thing at Grace Bible Church is to pursue God, to love Him, with all we've got.  We are learning.  We have opportunities on Sundays to learn and share and encourage one another in loving God.  We have retreats and training and small groups to enhance, enjoy and encourage one another in this.  Through it all we hope to learn to be better at living the life God has given us, better at loving others God's way, and more of a light in this world.