Then the sons of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry to the LORD our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.”
1 Samuel 7:8
We are called to love God.
One of them, an expert in the law, tested Him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
The one who loves builds relationships. God calls us to love Him–to focus our affections on Him. That is what centers our life. We can never know as we should know until our knowledge is tempered with love: love for God and love for man.
We are called to live for God.
For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one LORD, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.
1 Corinthians 8:5-6
What are we living for? Are we entangled in the world, living for what we want? Are we living with purpose, seeking to live all of life to bring glory to God? What are the idols in your life that compete for your attention? Are they worth it? Do they have lasting value? Do they really fulfill you, or do they leave you empty? Do they promise something they can’t deliver? We are made for God. May He be our purpose and focus in life.
We are called to love.
Knowledge makes arrogant, but love builds up. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not known as he ought to know; but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.
1 Corinthians 8:1b-3
We are reminded to consider the welfare of our brothers and sisters. When we act, we can’t just act on knowledge. We have to act on love informed by knowledge. Love mitigates the arrogance that knowledge can bring. Are our actions loving toward our brothers and sisters? . . . Christian freedom often means that we freely give up our rights to love others. We are forbidden from doing things that might ruin or sabotage another believer’s faith.