When Jesus began what we refer to as “the Lord’s prayer” He used these words – “Our Father in
heaven.” What does the word “Father” suggest to you? To me it says that our God is a relational being. He wants far more than us being religious. He wants a relationship with us.
We were created in the likeness and the image of God. That being the case, we are called to a right
relationship with Him and then with each other.
1 John 4: 21, “And this commandment we have from Him: “that he who loves God must love his
brother also.” Our God is infinite, personal and triune. The Father, son and Holy spirit live together in perfect union and communion.
Part of their plan in creating us is to display their glory to other relational beings. It is when we love
God with our whole being, that we are able to pass on to others the wonders of His love, grace and mercy.
Hebrews 10: 19-23 – “Therefore, brothers, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil that is His flesh and having a High Priest, over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith; having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”
In Matthew 22, we read of a lawyer asking Jesus, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the
law?” (vs. 36) Jesus said to him, “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 second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22: 37-40)
Over and over we see that our faith in God is relational. He created us to know, love, enjoy and honor Him. This was His purpose in creating us. It was also His plan for us to love others in the same way He loves us.
(John 13: 34).
• We don’t just love those who love us.
• We are also to love our enemies. Matthew 5: 44 – “But I (Jesus) say to you, love your enemies,
bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully
use you and persecute you.”
Folks, Jesus the son of Man did so – Luke 23: 34; “Then Jesus said, ‘Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Satan binds us. Sin darkens our souls.
We become oblivious to our ways that
grieve God and hurt others. Christ prayed for those who put Him on the cross and mocked Him. He
would not ask us to do something without enabling us to do it.
• In Galatians 5: 14, Paul wrote what Jesus taught, “You shall love your neighbors as yourself.”
Note: The better we know our God, the better we will know and understand ourselves. In Eph. 2:1 we read, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” Christ is the light of the world.
When He comes into our lives, He lights the wick of our spiritual lamp and we begin to see things as they really are. We see Him as He really is and we see ourselves as we really are. We also begin to see what we can be by His transforming presence and power in our lives.
Because God loves us:
1. In Romans 1: 20, we read that through creation He has revealed His eternal power and nature to us.
2. In Romans 2: 14-16, He has shown us our imperfection and guilt.
3. In Romans 5: 6, we see that God’s loyal love for us was causeless. “For when we were still without
strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly.”
4. His love for us is measureless. Romans 5: 7-8
5. His love for us is ceaseless. Romans 5: 9-11. He loved us because He chose to love us.
6. If we have responded to His love and are responding to it, then there isn’t anything that can separate us from His love. Romans 8: 35-39
Richard of Chichester (1197-1253) wrote the following prayer:
“Thanks be to thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits which Thou hast given us; for all the
pains and insults which thou hast given us; O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may
we know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly and follow thee more nearly; for thine own
May this be our prayer:
“May we know Thee more clearly.
May we love Thee more dearly.
May we follow Thee more nearly.”
For His glory,