Love The Lord
Matthew 22:34-40 says,
"34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.
35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying,
36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"
37 Jesus said to him," 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'
38 "This is the first and great commandment.
39 "And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
40 "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.""
How can you obey these commandments?
You cannot give what you have not received. You cannot love the Lord, your neighbor, or even yourself, in the proper way, unless the love of God has invaded your life.
1 John 4:19 says,
"19 We love Him because He first loved us."
2 Corinthians 5:14 KJV says,
"14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:"
Watchman Nee The Joyful Heart.
To be constrained means to be tightly held, or to be surrounded so that one cannot escape. When someone is moved by love, he will experience such a sensation. Love will bind him. Love is the basis of consecration. No one can constrain himself to God without first sensing the compelling love of Christ. It is futile to talk about consecration if this love is unknown to us, but once it is experienced our self-dedication to him readily follows. The Lord loves us sinners enough to purchase us back to Himself at the supreme cost of His life. When the love that constrains us is such a love, how could our response of committal to Him be less than wholehearted?
What is your "action verb?" What can you do?
You need to seek by pouring your heart out to God. You need to be honest with God about your sin, your hard heart, your lack of passion, and the fact that you may not be loving Him, your neighbor, even yourself with all of your heart, soul and mind.
The next thing is to exercise your volition to extend God's love to others. We are not robots, but rather people who have been filled with God who have a free choice to allow Him to love people through us. It almost seems like a contradiction. We cannot love people without Him doing it through us, yet we must choose to allow Him to act through us.
Just as faith without works is dead, so is works without faith.
Watchman Nee The Joyful Heart.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is ... self-control." Galatians 5:22
The end of this list, and thus the summit of a Christian's spiritual walk, is self-control. What commonly is spoken of as the Holy Spirit's government of us does not mean that he directly controls any part of us. That misunderstanding has lured Christians into passivity, or worse, deception, the end of which road is despair. But if we know that the Spirit is to lead man to the place of self-control, we are on the way to progress in spiritual life.
As believers, it is through our renewed will that the Holy Spirit rules. God's object in creation was to have man with a perfectly free volition, and his purpose in redemption is no different. The Christian is not obliged to obey God mechanically; instead his is the privilege of fulfilling God's desires willingly and actively. We are perfectly free to choose or reject the various charges in the New Testament concerning life and godliness. They would mean nothing if God were to annihilate the operation of our own wills. The choice is ours: flesh or Spirit? And the fruit of the Spirit is self-control.
Obedience to this commandment of love is the simplest of all commandments to understand. Jesus called it the greatest commandment. It covers every area of your life. When you obey this commandment you can be sure that you have put yourself in a place where God can bless you. Remember, He craves to bless you!