“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.” (Matt. 22:37)
That does not leave room for anyone else, does it?
All your affections, your devotion, your heart’s attention is to be given to the Living God, no one else is to take His place for any reason. Consider this, who do you love more, your mother who is a kind, loving woman, yet one who is not saved, or your brothers and sisters in Christ, who garners more of your love, the Lord Jesus Christ, or your unrepentant child who you nurtured, but who has rejected the Savior?
Regarding your love, both in an emotional context and in your actions, the Lord will never accept second place, He must always be first or our opening verse cannot be accomplished, no one or nothing can come before Him. “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)
My beautiful wide is a close second, but she will never be first in my life, nor do I ever expect to be the main focus of her life and love in her life, the Lord Jesus Christ is. “We love him, because he first loved us.” (1st John 4:19) Before I knew Him, He loved me, as I lived a life of sin and open rebellion against Him, He continued to love me, He gave His life for those who will never love Him, who will curse His name, and do even today, in the darkest pits of hell.
One of the greatest fulfillments of the love we are to have for the Savior is Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Our entire life, our main purpose is to glorify the Living God by loving the Lord Jesus Christ above all others, above ourselves, even above the continuation of our life, He is to be the reason for our existence.
You can look back over your life since you got up off your knees at the cross and started following Him and see whether or not this verse has been a truth in your life. Have you rejected those that love you but despise Him for Him, have you placed the needs of your own life fully in His care, have you forsaken all for Him? Does your life revolve around the glory of God?
This cannot be forced upon us, love, whether it be in the heart or by our actions, is an effort of our free will, the decision to love is a choice we make. It starts with this, the knowledge that what He did that day on the cross He did not have to do, it was His choice to obey the Father in all things, it was His choice to be rejected and despised of men, to live a life here filled with sorrow. It was His choice, a choice made solely because of love, to be bruised by the Father. It is our choice to decide who we will love, who will be the first recipient of our love, who will be placed above all others.
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)
All and more than we can ever imagine awaits us, what the eye hath not seen and what the ear cannot hear is waiting for all that love Him.
There is no one in your life that has done as much as He has for you, no one can love you as much as He can and does, and no one can separate you from that love that He has for you. “And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” (Deut. 31:8)
There is a peace that passes all understanding in these truths, a peace that brings a confidence that cannot be shaken, an eternal love for you that is not waiting to be expressed but is here today. It is one thing to die to self, to give our lives to Him without questioning, it is quite another to do so solely out of a love for Him.