I woke up early this morning hearing the Spirit of the Lord speaking the “sh’mah” over our house.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your mind and with all of your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)
This declaration arrested my sleepy spirit. THIS is what the Lord is passionately wanting to cultivate in me – all the time: All of me loving Him with wholehearted love.
Here are five + truths about the value of cultivating first-commandment love for Jesus.
1. First commandment love is the central issue of discipleship. If I want to be His disciple – to really be His disciple – there is nothing more important to learn than how to do 1 Corinthians 13 love with Him the way HE does 1 Corinthians 13 love with Himself; Father to Son; Son to Holy Spirit – in every circumstance of my life. This is what our Master is chiefly interested in developing in every one of His followers.
2. First commandment love is at the heart of the great commission. In the hour that’s in front of us, if we Christians are not steeped in swelling love for of the Man Christ Jesus, the unsaved in our world will remain hostage to a perspective of Christianity that only meets them on the barren field of abrasive arguments and competing morality.
It’s our duty to make sure that the unsaved in our culture hear more than principled contention in our lives. They MUST SEE WHO we’re enthralled with – the One Who is vastly worth shifting our values for.
The love that our Savior is worthy of is a love that will win the lost.
3. First commandment love is the Holy Spirit’s universal prophetic word to every context in our world. In addition to whatever else He is saying, He is always using every human circumstance to leverage increased first-commandment love among the nations.
First-commandment love is what the Lord is most adamant to produce in Ukraine.
It’s what He’s stirring in those on the steps of the Supreme Court.
It is what the Lord is zealous to establish in us on social media.
It’s His end times strategy for Israel.
It’s the declaration He is speaking over Arrowhead Stadium, and every revival center in America.
It’s His great hope for our President, Joseph Biden, and our former President, Donald Trump.
It’s His ultimate will for gender bending radicals.
It’s the outcome He’s orchestrating through all of our political and civic and justice contentions.
It’s what He is producing through all of His judgments that are on the earth.
4. Knowing this then, we can deduce that the enemy’s supreme objective today is to keep you and I from growing in first-commandment love for Jesus. He will stop at nothing to turn our hearts and minds away from growing deeper in love with our Lord. He will bribe us, deceive us, enrage us, attack us and schmooze us in his attempts to remove us from first-commandment love.
One of his chief plots to dismantle 1 Corinthians 13 love between God and myself is through idolatry and compromise. This temptation sounds like this: “You can love God. But love this too.” As he did with Eve in Genesis 3, the serpent wants to beguile us with the notions that: We can love God and love money too. We can love God and our nation too. We can love God and our own life too.
Jesus sets the way straight for our easily swayed souls: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26)
What Jesus is saying is, the only love that’s safe to pursue is the love for God. If we pursue love for God “all these (other) things will be added to us” (Matthew 6:33) by God. (This is called “faith”) If however, we pursue love for anything else, the enemy will use it to draw us away from love for God.
4. + Without being firmly rooted in first-commandment love for Jesus the human heart will not be able to withstand the demonic assault of rage, fear, lust, pride, doubt, defensiveness, shame, delirium and grief on our mind and emotions that will come against us at the end of the age. We must understand – all of the storms that are raging in our world have at their foundation the intent to increase love for Jesus, and dissuade increased love for Jesus. This is the eternal fulcrum over which the Christian must view our world, and our response to our world.
5. Finally. We will not get first-commandment love for Jesus without cultivating a life of corporate prayer. It simply will not happen. I’ve NEVER heard a Christian say: “I have a vibrant relationship with Jesus. I hear His voice. I’m growing in first commandment love for Him. I trust Him deeply through all aspects of my life. And I am richly manifesting His love and glory to my family and neighbors… but I never pray.”
If we want much love for Jesus we must be people of much prayer.
JSB • May 11, 2022
NOTE: Our book, “Seek My Face” is about cultivating first-commandment love for Jesus through all the judgments and trouble that’s on the earth in this hour. You can get it on AMAZON, or by writing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This was the topic of our May 11, 2022 session of “Oil for the Hour”. You can check out the video here: https://youtu.be/8HkJCpIqxRg