Matthew 22:37 And He replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect). 38 This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. AMPC
Jesus gave priority to loving God as the first command and then second to love our neighbor. The reason of the order Jesus gave us is that we can’t love our neighbor without being in love with God first.
When you love someone, you care about what they care about. If you have kids and they are hurting, you hurt. If you love someone, their pain is your pain. You hurt because of your love for that person.
It is the same with God. He is in love with all of His children and when you know God and have taken the time to fall in love with God, you will know His love for His children and that will move you to love who He loves. You will hurt because He hurts and love because He loves.
That said if you refuse to love, and refuse to forgive one of His children, you would have to examine your love for God. If you refuse to forgive then you really haven’t a tight relationship with God to the place where you are intimate . You may call yourself a Christian even, but if you won’t forgive you don’t know God, or at least not enough to know His passion.
To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind you have to fall in love with God. How do you fall in love with Him? By taking the time to know Him which then allows intimacy with Him.
If you take the effort to seek God to know Him, then He will show Himself to you. Jesus said if you love Me you will obey Me and I will show Myself to you.
As you build your relationship with God through your obedience to Him, God will start to show you more of Himself, how He feels, His thoughts, and what’s important to Him. God will start revealing to you truths that you hadn’t known before. You will know His thoughts, His standards and realize His ways are so much higher than ours. After having a taste of His love, His ways of doing, you will desire more of Him.
He will show you His love for all of His children to the place where you will feel His deep compassion for us. Before you could feel His love for you, but now you will experience by His trust in you, His emotions for all of His children.
You will see God loves not just you but that person you are angry with, the person you have ought against.
If we don’t know God we don‘t know the compassion He has for us. If we don’t know the compassion God has for us, we can‘t be in agreement with Him and love— meeting His high standard of love.
God so longs that we would meet Him—give Him a chance and get to know Him so we could know the love He intends for us.
God once said to me— “My children, many of My children think they want to move in with Me someday, but still here and now they don’t agree with Me, or have time for Me, yet still they think they want to move in with Me someday“.
Isn’t that unrealistic? Why would you want to move in with someone you don’t have anything in common with, someone you don’t agree with or even have time for?
I’d like to share with you what happened with my Mom when she was eighty-six. She had been desperately seeking God to take her home. God answered her —He told her she wasn’t ready for heaven until she was willing to forgive. He said first you have to practice love to be able to move in with Me.
My mom honored God and did what He told her to do —a few months later she went home; she was welcomed into the Kingdom of heaven!
She had to care about what He cared about to live with Him. That’s love, to care about what the person you love cares about.
When we love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and want to be with Him, then we will know what is important to Him and we will care about what is important to Him. That love will cause us to want to do His will—what moves Him.
You can’t love God and hate your brother because if you love God you will hurt when He hurts, you will care because He cares.
1 John 4:8 He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love.
To be with God when you leave here, you have to love while you are here. You have to be in agreement with Him here so that you can be with Him when you leave here. To be right with God to be forgiven of your sin, you have to forgive.
What does God care about, what is on His mind? Us, His children, that one lost soul, that person you have ought against. Jesus came and bore our sin, our sickness, disease and pain so we wouldn’t have to. That is love.
If Jesus is willing to forgive us of what we did, if He is willing to pay our debt and He did, then we can make that same choice. Because He forgave, I choose to forgive.
Jesus had compassion on you even before you needed that compassion. He loved you enough to let your sin go even before you sinned. Whatever mistakes you made He already forgave you of that mistake even before you made it. He made provision for your sin even before you sinned.
As His —God is calling us to make that same provision ahead of time for that one that may hurt us even before we‘re hurt. We have to decide ahead of time we will forgive immediately. Be that prepared that as soon as we hurt, we have already decided we will let it go.
Peter asked Jesus if seven times a day was enough times a day to forgive. Peter had no idea where Jesus was coming from when Jesus said no, seven times seventy.
Jesus was saying, anticipate it. Be ready to forgive as many times as it takes. Love to the place where you have made a difference.
Jesus told a parable about a human king who had compassion a man who owed him money. The King was going to sell his wife and children and all of his possessions. The man got on his knees and begged for him to be patient and give him a chance to pay him. The king was moved with compassion and forgave him the debt.
The same man that was forgiven of his debt had another man, who owed him a very small amount of money in comparison to what he owed the king, put in prison. When the king found this out he was furious. Jesus said so also My heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart, his offenses.
Jesus knew He was going to be the One that would give His life for us when He told this parable. He was about to pay our debt with His life to show us what love truly is. Peter thought seven times would be a great sacrifice but he was about to find out the greatest of Love was about to give His life away.
Jesus gave His life and we are unwilling to forgive in little? Hopefully that speaks to you, your part is small compared to what Jesus did for you.
Who do you know that would pay your debt for you? Who has made provision for your mistakes even before you made them? Only Jesus, He is the One who truly loves you.
Peter didn’t understand the parable I am sure until after Jesus gave His life.
If you are like Peter was and now you can see —then I am so excited for you that you now know you have a small thing to forgive compared to what Jesus did for you.
If we won’t forgive we can’t live with Him. If you won’t forgive you won’t be forgiven (Mark 11:25-26). There is still time though, you can repent and decide to forgive now. You can ask Jesus to help you and He will. Don’t put if off, don’t wait, the time is short—forgive now before it is too late.