"If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under" ~ Ronald Reagan
It seems fitting that I should write this post on Reagan's birthday. some things should never be forgotten.
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
What about Love? how is this a better starting point to understanding God over any other means? look at these verses carefully, Jesus said we should love the Lord our God with all your heart, soul and mind. THIS has to be first. why? you ask? well the conclusions you could come to depend on your presuppositions. If you think God says that because of any number of selfish reasons, because he wants to be lifted up to lord it over you, you would come to one conclusion, If you presuppose he is saying so out of Love and concern for you you would come to another conclusion. the picture that comes to my mind is of a parent/teenager situation. God the parent tells teenager, who he loves dearly, that rules must be followed for their own good. God the parent says "I must be obeyed for your good". teenager thinks parent is full of himself and says this for some selfish reason like fear of embarrassment, or some desire to spoil their fun. Parent makes rules like don't drink and drive out of the love of their teenager, teenager thinks this rule is just to spoil their fun. who's being selfish here? the teenager, obviously. there is no respect of the law if there is no love for the lawgiver, is there? love has two components, the component of the one loved, and the one loving.
Jesus said the second law is like the first. to love your neighbor as yourself.
there's something that looks so easy, yet it is the failure of humankind both individually and as a whole to follow this that causes the "trouble with the world" we find. What would the world be like if everyone loved their neighbor as they do their-selves? what if people loved God's law, and loved their neighbor as they do their selves? A great many spoiled teenagers among us decry God's law as onerous, yet, look at the ten commandments, as ask yourself, can a society succeed without these? why do you think they are so onerous? are you a spoiled teenager still yet?
suppose that spoiled teenager gets drunk, and goes driving, wrecks and kills some of his friends and siblings? what position does this teenager find himself in, his sin, having caught up with him? what of his relationship with the law? the lawgiver? who's to come to his defense if and when he recognizes his sin and repents? what should happen then?
God loves us, his law is for our good. you can listen to God or to the snake, one of the two, but here's God's plan for us. as the lawgiver he is the prosecutor in the case, he prosecutes this wayward teenager. as the judge, he declares this wayward teenager guilty of his sin. and pronounces sentence, death. but the story doesn't end there! the judge gets off his podium, removes his robe, and takes the punishment for the crime onto HIMSELF! believe that! HE takes the place of the condemned! wow! but now, consider wisely your relationship with God now wayward teenager, you owe him an even bigger debt than ever! Do you love your redeemer like you should? ponder all that has been done for you, dear teenager. How would you feel, if you were the parent in this story? and your great sacrifice and love came back to you unappreciated, perhaps mocked, even? understand humankind's present position! we are the spoiled teenager, bent on following our friends ways and opinions and ignoring or, even worse, mocking and making fun of our redeemer. get to know God's mind by studying his word. understand your place as one loved of God and respect it.