Good morning, and a most blessed Thursday morning to you.
Please open up your Bibles with me to Matthew 22:37-39.
37 He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Let me ask you this. What is it that you desire? Let’s let Scripture form those desires.
Let’s turn to Colossians 3:12. Paul writes:
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord[f] has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Bearing with one another
Those are all things that we desire.
Let’s let Scripture define more desires. Turn to 1 Thessalonians 2:7:
But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children.
We desire gentleness from others, don’t we. That there would be gentleness expressed to us from others.
Going on to 1 Thes. 4:18
18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
We desire that, don’t we. We desire encouraging words from others.
Let's go to Galatians 6:2:
Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ
Someone who bears our burdens. That’s a desire that we all have.
Lastly, let’s look at 2 Timothy 3:16
16 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
We desire those people in our lives that would love us enough to teach us, to reprove us, to correct us, and to train us through the Word.
These are just a sampling of some of the Scripture texts of those things that we desire in our lives. And so, if that's what we desire, we can love others using these desires as the framework. But if we honestly look at ourselves, it is quickly revealed to us how we fall short. We fall short of living this out for others as we love them.
Thanks be to God that the grace of Jesus Christ comes to us. Jesus died on the cross, carrying all of our sin, including all of the ways and the times that we fall short of giving to others what we ourselves desire. Living in His grace, and living in His empowerment, He has powers us to live out the desires, not in our strength, but in His empowerment. He empowers us to live out these very things that we desire from others. Will we continue to fall short? Absolutely. Will He continue to raise us up with his grace? Absolutely. How would your various relationships be different if what you desire is expressed more and more to others? How would those relationships be different? More importantly, how would God be glorified?
Let’s pray. Gracious God, we thank you for this time in your Word. Your Word is truth. Thank you, Lord, that you call us to love others as we love ourselves. And so Lord, as we let the Scriptures frame our desires, the very things that we desire. We pray that by your power we might love others. Forgive us when we fall short in such love. Continue to raise us up with your Word of forgiveness born at the cross. And empower us to love others with the very things that we desire. And may you, Lord, be glorified. In Jesus’ name.
God bless you today. Encourage someone!