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The Greatest Commandment

Series: The Gospel of Mark


Dearest Jimmy,

No words could ever express the great unhappiness I've felt since breaking our engagement. Please say you'll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love you, I love you, I love you! Yours forever, Marie.

P.S., And congratulations on willing the state lottery.*

I’m not sure if that’s a real letter or not, but isn’t it a little self-serving?  It’s easy for us to love when there is something to be gained: money, gifts, attention, love in return, etc.  Love is hard when there is no immediate return on the emotional investment made.

This morning we’re talking about love and the greatest command: love God with all of your being.  John says that we love God because He first loved us (I John 4:19).  Romans 5:8 says that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us—the ultimate act of love.  This means that there was nothing in the deal for God—He received no real gain for his act of love and self-sacrifice, and there wasn’t much at the time of his giving of Jesus that would have motivated him to go through with it.  We were still sinners.

It is exactly this kind of love that gives us an example to follow.  John says we love because He first loved us.  If you dig a little further, however, He loved us when we were unlovable.  That means the same kind of love is required of us—no strings attached!  No hope for gain, and no interest of return.  Could you love like that?

*Letter appeared in:


      -Scott McFarland

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