Loving God and loving others pretty much sums up the two greatest commandments.
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
Psalm 139:23-24 has been a favorite passage of mine for quite a while. It’s a great memory verse and is a good way to begin my quiet time with the Lord in the mornings.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
It’s a very personal passage between my Father and me. The first part is about my heart and thoughts and my making them accessible to Him. It’s not that He does not know them already, but if I let Him, He will help me sort them out. It’s part of our relationship and the fellowship we share. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
It’s the “any offensive way in me” that has gotten me to thinking lately. My traditional interpretation of this line is that it pertains to the parts of me that are offensive to God. But, that is not how God sees me. He sees me as a little child (Matthew 11:25), as a lamb without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36). He has compassion on me and loves me. He wants us to come to Him with no fear (Matthew 11:28-30, 1 John 4:18).
So, if it’s not an offensive way in me, then what is it? Could it be about how I treat others? Am I offensive to those around me? Jesus puts great stock in how we treat others. He even said that if we were not willing to forgive those who sin against us, then the heavenly Father would not forgive us (Matthew 6:14). Basically, we set the curve for our own forgiveness. Also, we are most like Jesus when we serve others (Matthew 20:28).
Now, when I read this passage on my card every morning and quote it to the Father, I am asking for Him to be Lord of my life and to show me how to love others. It’s a daily thing. Try it sometime. I think you will find it very cathartic.
Abba, You know my heart. You know what I need and what I need to get rid of. I am trusting You to guide me today (Psalm 73:23-24). May I give all I know of myself to all I know of You today. Teach me to set myself aside and love others as You love them. It’s important to You, therefore it’s important to me. Loving others is one of the best ways to love You. Amen.