Love Transforms

Jesus said the greatest of all commandments is: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22: 37)

All who heard Him identify what He declared to be the most important commandment were very familiar with it. It is a part of the Jewish creed known as the “Shema.” The word “Shema” means “to hear.”

It was the first Old Testament Scripture to be learned by a child. It is worthy to be learned and conformed to today.

The Coventry Cathedral in England was largely destroyed along with 700,00 homes was largely destroyed by German bombs during World War II. The new cathedral at Coventry has much art. None is more striking than the larger than life sculpture just outside the main entrance. It depicts Michael the archangel, spear in hand, poised triumphantly over a prostrated, manacled dragon. It depicts the ultimate victory of Christ over evil.

He, the triumphant, resurrected Christ, the one Who commanded us to love is the one who gives us the victory in love.   

Bernard of Clairvaux, a 12th Century preacher, asked a question and answered it himself. His question: “Why should we love God?”

His answer: “Because He is God.”

Jesus knew the commandment was worthy to – – – 

        Dominate our emotions

                Direct our attitudes.

                        Determine our actions.

        Get it? Got it. Good!

We, like they, in light of the resurrection should love the Lord our God with all of our personal resources.

This humorous account depicts our victory in Jesus. An electrician was called upon to make minor repairs in wiring that required him to go into the church attic over the pulpit. His wife accompanied him and decided to sit in the auditorium and wait for him. A group of visitors quietly entered the place of worship. Seeing the lady sitting alone they assumed she was worshiping. Her husband had been unduly long in the attic. The silent visitors were shocked when she turned her eyes heavenward and called out, “Sam, are you up there?” After a moment’s pause she continued, “Did you make it alright?”

After the resurrection the disciples knew Jesus was “Up there,” He had “made it alright.” As a result things were not all right down here, but they were alright. So are we.

Impulsive Peter heard those words of Jesus and was transformed by them. Peter later wrote revealing the change in his life.

“ one another fervently with a pure heart.”  (I Peter 1:22).

People hadn’t suddenly changed and become lovable, but Peter had changed and become loving. Agape love is a conscious and deliberate act of the will.

                It means to seek God for His own sake, 

                        to have pleasure in Him, and 

                                to strive impulsively to please Him.