Read: Matthew 22:37-38
My older sister spent much of her childhood in white Keds. I, on the other hand, wore navy. They were the ones with the extra cap of rubber across the toe. I longed for the white shoes. That is until those rubber caps were needed for extra braking power. You see, in the bygone era of no bicycle helmets, children also often rode bicycles much too large for them. “You’ll grow into it,” was the wisdom of the day. Oh, how I loved my big purple bicycle which I had to stand in order to ride because my feet could not touch the pedals while seated. It was scary! It was exhilarating! It was beautiful! It was freedom! Yes, I kept permanently scraped knees and palms, and yes, I realize I could’ve suffered much worse; but, wow, what excitement! I loved it!
Jesus answers the Pharisees’ question with a commandment to love. Our modern minds cannot quite grasp the concept of being commanded to love. Isn’t love something that occurs outside of our will? Yet, Jesus calls it a commandment, an act of will by definition. As we feebly attempt to obey this commandment, we are introduced to a love that is big – too big for us. Along the way, we discover this love is painful, scary, exhilarating, and beautiful. We grow into it. And, we can go with boldness as we are transformed by this great love. Just as there is freedom in being loved this way, there is freedom in loving this way. The exhilaration of beholding the glory of the Lord in the faces of those made in His image leads us to abandon what we once considered safe, and head full speed into vulnerability where His arms await. The day for wearing pristine white will come but for now we need the durable footwear.
Adoration: God is holy, mighty, gracious, and merciful. Spend time declaring your love for Him and expressing your thoughts of praise and worship.
Confession: Ask God to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.
Thanksgiving: Express your thankfulness to God for the blessings He has given you. When we consider that we deserve punishment because of our sinfulness, and instead God gives to us His love and mercy, our only response should be one of thankfulness.
Supplication: Petition God for growth in your desire to know and please Him. Ask Him to give you a greater love and commitment to Him. Ask Him for the grace to glorify Him in your life. Intercede on behalf of your local church, other churches, evangelism and discipleship ministries and other concerns you may have. Offer prayers for your activities for this day and any special concerns you might have.