1 John 4:8 (ESV)
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Matthew 22:34-40 (NLT)
The Most Important Commandment
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
You are never going to be able to truly love people until you truly love yourself!
Before we can do anything else, we must experience the pure Love that God has for us personally.
• We cannot truly know it, define it, explain it or share it if we have not first experienced it.
Jeremiah 31:3 (NLT)
Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, My people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself.
John 1:16-18 (NLT)
From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is Himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.
Brennan Manning ~
“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.”
Psalm 139:13-16 (MSG)
Oh yes, You shaped me first inside, then out; You formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank You, High God—You’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out, You know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, You watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.
Lucille Ball ~
“I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
She almost had it right, but I must disagree. The Truth is . . . you must love God first and then everything else falls into line!
• “Every time you judge someone, you reveal a part of yourself that needs healing.”
Isaiah 45:9-10 (NLT)
“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator.
Does a clay pot argue with its maker?
Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying,
‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’
Does the pot exclaim,
‘How clumsy can you be?’
How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father,
‘Why was I born?’ or if it said to its mother, ‘Why did you make me this way?’”
• So many people live with this self-hatred because they think they are failures!
Zig Ziglar ~
“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”
Bob Goff ~
“Failure is just part of the process, and it’s not just okay; it’s better than okay. God doesn’t want failure to shut us down. God didn’t make it a three-strikes-and-you’re-out sort of thing. It’s more about how God helps us dust ourselves off so we can swing for the fences again. And all of this without keeping a meticulous record of our screw-ups.”
Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World
Joel Osteen ~
“Don’t ever criticize yourself. Don’t go around all day long thinking, ‘I’m unattractive, I’m slow, I’m not as smart as my brother.’ God wasn’t having a bad day when He made you… If you don’t love yourself in the right way, you can’t love your neighbor. You can’t be as good as you are created to be.”
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT)
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.