The Gospel of Luke - Part 45: Disciples Love God — Luke 10:13-38 (continued)
(These notes are based on lesson notes prepared by Rob Mahon for connection class leaders at Hoffmantown Church.)

Review:

Remember that in Chapter 10 of Luke Jesus teaches us some of the traits of His followers, the behaviors that naturally result from true faith in Him. In this chapter he will show is that:

A.   Disciples Labor
B.   Disciples Love God
C.   Disciples Love People
D.   Disciple Learn

Last week we finished our study that His true followers labor, they work. We saw Jesus thank God that the Gospel message was spread. Then we started into the evidence that His followers love God deeply. He teaches this through the event where the Mosaic Law scholar quizzed Jesus about what it takes to inherit eternal life.

And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” —Luke 10:25-27
Last week we saw that the lawyer was quoting from the Old Testament and then we saw that Jesus told us the same thing several times in the New Testament.

Remember that the lawyer already knew the answer, but don’t knock him too hard, we also often ask God for answers and direction when we already know the right answer, but are looking for a detour, an alternative to what we know is right.

So we know that

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
Think about it. Every command in the Bible is an expression of these two commands. Remember that Jesus said:
“On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” —Matthew 22:40
"The Law and the Prophets" is like saying, "Genesis to Malachi". The Law refers to the first five books of the Old Testament, the books of the Law, and the Prophets refer to the books of the prophets, major and minor. Jesus says that all of the teachings in the Bible are based on these two fundamental instructions from God. Paul says:
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. ... But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. —1 Corinthians 13:1-3,13.
Over and over again in the Bible, God emphasizes the importance of love. As Christians, we can get caught up in religion, in activities and lose sight of loving God and loving people. All that we do needs to be driven by these priorities.

Back to Luke. The lawyer answered the question about what is required to inherit eternal life by answering it himself:

...love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; —Luke 10:27
This command comes first. Though much of the teaching that follows this answer focuses on “loving your neighbor,” we must first love God.

Oxford professor and committed Christian, C. S. Lewis, wrote, “Every Christian would agree that a person’s spiritual health is exactly proportional to his love for God.”

So we are to love God with our heart, soul, strength and mind. What do you think each of these four areas represent? Here’s one way to understand the four areas mentioned:

However, Jesus’ emphasis here is that we love God with all that we are, with every part of our lives, with the whole of who we are. Remember, we are commanded to love God, it is not a suggestion or an option to take or leave.

What are some implications of the fact that this is a command?

C. H. Spurgeon was a well-known British pastor who lived in the 1800’s. He wrote,
“We must give the Lord our love or that love will go somewhere else. We are so created that we must love something or [someone].”
How do we tell if we really love God? What are indicators/measures of my love for the Lord?

 

 

Rick Warren says:

“The most important thing you can know in life is that God loves you. And the most important thing that you can do in life is to love Him back. said it like this in Matthew 22 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment." Nothing is more important. If you do this, you will fulfill your primary purpose in life. If you learn to love God and you let God love you, your life has fulfilled its meaning, its purpose. If you miss this part of your life, your life is a failure. Because you've missed the very reason that God created you and put you on earth — to love and be loved.” (Rick Warren)

What do you think are some keys to growing in our love for the Lord?  You can probably think of many other keys but here are four that I would offer:

  1. Pray —(ask God to increase your love for Him)
    You do not have because you do not ask. —James 4:2
  2. Get to know Him better — (the better we know Him, the more we love Him)
    The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. —1 John 4:8
  3. Appreciate His love for us
    We love, because He first loved us. —1 John 4:19

    So you see, our love for him comes as a result of his loving us first. —1 John 4:19 [Living Bible]
  4. Appreciate His forgiveness of us
    “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” —Luke 7:47
What factors can weaken or diminish our love for the Lord?

I have a handout [last page] of many verses referencing our God for God. Take these home and read through them to reinforce this command. It is just something that true followers of Jesus do, naturally and always.

 Pastor Wayne Cordeiro, of New Hope Church in Hawaii, makes these observations about love:

“The more you love something, the more you become like it. For example, I have a friend that loves tennis. He wears tennis stuff. He reads tennis magazines. He has tennis talk. He has a racket, and his hair looks like a tennis ball.

I have another friend that loves surfing. He dresses with surf stuff, and he reads surf magazines. He has a surf talk. He's even starting to smell like seaweed. Everything about him is starting to go that way. But isn't it true whatever you love, you start moving that way? Some of you love food. Case closed on that one.

That's why the Bible says the greatest commandment of all is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. That is the greatest commandment of all. Why? Because the power to change is given in relationship, and what you love you become like.” (Wayne Cordeiro)

__________

Next week:

...we will Study the believer’s trait that we love our neighbors. Read through Luke 10 again.

__________

You shall love the Lord your God.

Deuteronomy 10:12  — And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
Deuteronomy 11:1 —Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always.
Deuteronomy 13:3 — The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Joshua 23:11 — So be very careful to love the Lord your God.
Psalm 116:1 — I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.
Luke 10:27 — He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
John 14:15 — If you love me, you will obey what I command.
John 14:21 — Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."
John 16:27 — No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.
John 21:15-17 —... said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?"... Again said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"... The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"
1 Corinthians 16:22 — If anyone does not love the Lord--a curse be on him. Come, O Lord!
Ephesians 6:24 — Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus with an undying love.
James 1:12 — Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
James 2:5 — Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?
1 Peter 1:8 — Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,
Revelation 2:4 — Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.