Living and Loving on the Right Side of the Cross – Part Three

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22 – 40).

Jesus  intended us to operate under the control of our personal will in seeking to love others. It is suitable only when operating in the “Thy will be done” zone.

It is hard to love and rejoice in the Lord when suffering from a case of remoteness.

        The Lord God once said of Israel:

                “Their heart is far from Me.”

The words don’t relate to physical distance, but to likeness. It is not physical distance, but dissimilarities that cause a sense of remoteness.

Two creatures may be so close together they touch, yet they may be so unalike they are far apart. For example, you and a wild African lion from the Serengeti Plains may be so close you touch, but in your natures you are far apart and that makes you want to get physically further apart.

For this moral unlikeness the Bible uses the word “alienation.” Look in your inner life for evidence of dissimilarities between you and the Lord. Check for:

Three facets of our nature are to be involved in loving the Lord.

“Kardia” is the word used. It is a reference to our entire inner nature. It is a term for our personality. Whole-hearted love is the meaning. It is a reference to being enthusiastic about our love for the Lord.

The measure of loving the Lord is to love Him without measure.

“Psyche” is the word for soul. It is a reference to the seat of our will. It means to willfully determine to love the Lord.

“Dianoia” is the word for mind. It relates to our intellect. Love for the Lord is to be knowledgeable. That is what made the difference in the lives of the disciples. After the resurrection they were clued in as to who Jesus was and what His role was.

Albert Sweitzer was asked, “What is wrong with man today?” He replied, “He simply does not think.” Think about it!

Candidly, through the years I have encountered some people I wanted to pray for with a baseball bat. I would like to say I have always been successful in complying with the command to love them, but there have been some times I have struck out. Those occasions have caused me to suffer deferred regret and resolution to knock it out of the park next time.