If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
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These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one. The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.
God calls on us to love Him as a father desires his children to love him. We are called into a relationship characterised by love. This can confuse us. We think of love in terms of an emotion, over which we have little control. The love the Bible talks of is about our choices, our hearts and our passions. The way we act demonstrates the object of our love.
The call to love God begins with the way we treat Him, and the way we give Him priority in our lives.
Jesus was asked by a leading authority on the Bible which command of the Old Testament He considered the most important. Matthew 22:36-40
Matthew 22:36-40 36 "Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?"
37 Jesus replied, "'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.'*38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39 A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'*40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."
At the last supper, knowing that things were already set for His trial and execution Jesus explained how they were to relate in the future after He rose from the dead. John 14:18 - 24. We will look at the passage in two parts.
18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live.20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them."
Love responds to love with love.
22 Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name) said to him, "Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us and not to the world at large?"
23 Jesus replied, "All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.24 Anyone who doesn't love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me.
Our love of God is not through slavish obedience, but as an expression of His love at work in us. Here is what John says in 1 John 4:7-12
7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
The first 5 of the 10 Commandments can be seen as a break down of how to express love for God. They are repeated below with links to pages that draw out the significance of each in turn. Exodus 20 -
1st Command - God comes first in our lives.
1 Then God gave the people all these instructions*:
2 "I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. 3 "You must not have any other god but me.
4 "You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me.6 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those* who love me and obey my commands.
7 "You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
8 "Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.9 You have six days each week for your ordinary work,10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you.11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
12 "Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.