My wife was teaching in a Christian school when, one day, two brothers came to her class utterly devastated. They were from what appeared to be a solid Christian home. Tragically, they had just learned their father had left his family to live with another woman. The wife and mother could have chosen to be angry, bitter, and hostile. Instead, she made a conscious decision to continue to love her husband and urge him to return home. When divorce papers came, she resisted by again confirming her love and asking him to come home. She and others prayed that God would turn the heart of this man back to his wife and children. After nearly a year, largely because of a decision to love, the husband returned to his family and a walk with the Lord.
Dictionaries and modern media mistakenly define love as a strong affection or emotion. But, at its core, love is a decision. Emotions usually follow later. In Psalm 18:1 David wrote, “I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength.” David made this decision because often in the Scriptures the Lord instructed Israel to love Him. The very first of the Ten Commandments is, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6:5). The Lord Jesus explained this was the greatest of all God’s commandments (Matthew 22:36-38). Therefore, as God’s spokesman, Moses told Israel, “…I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments…” (Deuteronomy 30:16). David also implored others to make this decision, saying: “O love the Lord, all ye His saints…” (Psalm 31:23). Today still, it is the will of the Lord for us to decide consciously to love Him. In II Thessalonians 3:5, the Apostle Paul writes, “And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.” If love for God were only an uncontrolled emotion, these instructions would be meaningless. But all of these clear commands imply that loving the Lord is a decision, an act of our will.
If the Lord Jesus were physically standing beside you right now, perhaps He would ask the same question He asked Peter three times, “…Lovest thou Me?” (John 21:15-17). If your love for the Savior has waned, make the decision this moment to love Him as before and fervently follow Him.
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