Loving God and Loving Others!

This past Sunday, we walked through the passage in Mark in which Jesus spells out the two "Great Commandments" ... to love God with all that we are and with all of our energy AND to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. The two are related in that if we are not loving the Creator ... then we cannot love his creatures. In addition, if we do not love others whom we can see, how will we ever love God whom we cannot (1 John 4:20)?

So, my friends, I encourage you today to spend some time evaluating how you are doing in loving God and loving others. Now the second commandment (to love others) is easier to get a handle on. If I truly love others as I love myself, then I will treat them as I would want treated, I will seek their welfare and give to their needs (even if it costs me), I will pray for them, etc., etc., etc.). But it proves more difficult to evaluate how we are doing with the first great commandment to love God with all our being and energy. With that in mind, here are some insightful words from J.I. Packer that may prove helpful:

"Loving God is a matter of saying and meaning what the psalmist said: 'There is nothing on earth that I desire besides you' (Psalm 73:25) -- nothing, that is, that I would not consent to lose if adhering to God required it. Thus, it is a matter of wanting and valuing 'fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ' (1 John 1:3) more than I want or value anything else in this world. And it is a matter of making knowing and loving and pleasing and praising God my life task, and I'm seeking to lead others into the same God-glorifying life pattern." 

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