Memorise: By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 1st John 5:2
Read: 1st Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Bible in one year: John 3:16-4:30, Job 30:9-16
The memory verse for today tells us in very strict terms the godly means of measuring love among brethren. Any show of love that does not stem from the love of God and obedience of His commandments, should be considered fake and deceptive. It should be noted that the focus of Apostle Paul here is not on the fulfilment of the Mosaic Law, but rather about the biblical principle as established by God for Christian practice. This is to cement in our hearts the teachings of Jesus which emphasizes that we are not operating under the law anymore, but under the love of Christ. Living under the grace and liberty of Jesus empowers humanity first to love God and then to love one another.
The big question is, in what sense does love fulfil the totality of the law? And, how does the works of the law? Romans 13:9-10, says:
“For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
The answer to the above question is embedded in this passage. Accordingly, if the love of God is shed abroad in your heart, you will be able to fulfil the law without grumbling, but with joy. This is why Paul reduced the commandments to only one, “Love is the fulfilling of the law.” As I have often counselled my children, Love can insulate you from the pain, discouragement, and difficulties associated with any given task. Love can reduce the length of an assignment from years to days by fulfilling each day with excitement, hope and fun. Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, because of the love he had for her (Genesis 29:20). No price is too much to pay for the one you love. Jacob served a total of 14 years waiting for Rachel, but did not realize he had waited that long, if a man truly loves a woman, he will be prepared to wait for her to be ready before marriage. The one who loves you will not compel you to sleep with him before you are married. To the world, one faulty yardstick for measuring love is one’s readiness to go into pre-marital sex. Anyone who claims to love you but cannot wait for you to be ready before you go into marriage does not truly love you. Love is not hasty but patient. Anyone who is not ready to pay a price for you does not really love you.
Furthermore, obedience is the natural result of love. You will never want to disobey or rebel against the authority of someone you truly love. All the vices mentioned in the above passage such as adultery, murder, stealing, false witness, covetousness, and others are not compatible with love, rather, they are all contrary to love. It is absolutely impossible to think about doing any of these to your neighbour while also claiming to love God. This is contrary to the Word of God (1st John 4:20)
Father, please help me to love you and my neigbours in pratical terms in Jesus’ name.