1. Love Is The Most Important Commandment
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
2. Love Is Our Trademark
"As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
3. Love Is Full Of Mercy
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
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.’”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
4. Love Doesn't Get Better Than This
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
This is my command: Love each other."
5. Love Is Even For Our Enemies
"You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
6. Love Unifies Us With The Father, Son, + Holy Spirit
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever — the Spirit of truth.
The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.
The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
May Jesus' love for me be my greatest treasure. May his forgiveness inspire me to love those in my life more deeply - yes, even that neighbor. May they come to know Jesus because of my love for them.
May the Father's love bring me comfort as I remember that he chose me to be his own dear child and has prepared a place for me to be in heaven with him forever.
May the Holy Spirit's love strengthen my faith in God's truth and equip me to follow all that is commanded for his purposes and glory!