WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MARCH 23, 2023
TOPIC: MAKE LOVE YOUR HIGHEST GOAL
BY T. O. BANSO
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13 New King James Version).
In Matthew 22, when a lawyer, who was a Pharisee, tested Jesus by asking Him about which was the great commandment in the law, He said, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment” (verses 37-38 New King James Version).
Jesus added by saying, “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (verses 39-40 New King James Version). In other words, all other laws rest on these two: loving God and loving fellow human beings. Romans 13:10b says love is the fulfilment of the law.
In Romans 13:8, the Bible says, “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law” (New King James Version). Love is a debt you should never finish paying! You must continue to pay it because anyone who loves another has fulfilled the law. Thus, love becomes the shortcut to fulfilling all the laws!
This answer of Jesus to the question about which was the first commandment of all is also recorded in Mark 12:30-31 thus: “‘And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (New King James Version).
This means that no law is superior to love: loving God and loving fellow human beings. Therefore, it also means there is no greater goal than love that one should pursue. Every other goal will be inferior to love because love is greater than every other thing. The Apostle Paul says, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13 New King James Version). Love is the greatest and is worth being pursued above other things.
Make love your highest goal in whatever you do or pursue. Always remember the love for God and the love for fellow human beings. Don’t want anything or try to succeed in anything at the expense of love for God and fellow human beings. Nothing is worth achieving in life if it makes you not love God and fellow human beings. Such accomplishments are worth nothing. Indeed, whatever goal you pursue must pass the love test.
Paul said, “Let love be your highest goal!” (1 Corinthians 14:1a New Living Translation). The New International Version renders the scripture as “Follow the way of love.” The English Standard Version says, “Pursue love” while the New Century Version says, “You should seek after love.” Also, the Revised Standard Version says, “Make love your aim.” Make love your highest goal.
Any goal you pursue for which you will need to sacrifice love for God and human beings to accomplish it is not worth it. Whatever you do, no matter how good it is, if you do not do it in love, it is useless. Paul said, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 New King James Version).
Let love be your highest goal as you go about your daily activities or assignments. “Do all your work in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14 Good News Translation). The New Living Translation says to do everything with love. Ensure your other goals pass the test of love. Make love for God and fellow human beings your topmost priority. Love God with all your being; love Him wholeheartedly. 1 John 4:8 says He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. Do you love God and fellow human beings?
Verse 20 of 1 John 4 says, “If someone says, ‘I love God’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (New King James Version). The Apostle James describes the commandment to love your neighbour as yourself as the royal law: “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right” (James 2:8 New International Version). Love fellow human beings.
Some people are only interested in achieving their goals. They don’t care about how they are achieved or their impact on others. Whether others are harmed, exploited, etc. is not their concern. Their attitude is the ends justify the means. This should not be the attitude of a child of God. Love should be our highest goal.
Colossians 3:14 says above all the graces or virtues discussed in the preceding verses, we should put on love, which is the bond of perfection. The Easy-to-Read Version puts the verse this way: “Together with these things, the most important part of your new life is to love each other. Love is what holds everything together in perfect unity.” Note the phrase: the most important part of your new life is to love each other. The New Living Translation renders the verse thus: “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.”
Love is above every other thing. Make it your highest goal. Jesus said. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34 New King James Version). He further said in John 15:12, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (New King James Version). In verse 17, He again emphasized the need for His followers to love one another.
Let love be the highest goal in your life, family, business, office, ministry, friendship, and other relationships. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”(1 Corinthians 13:4-7 New International Version). Make love your highest goal.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to make love my highest goal. In the name of Jesus, I shall love God with all my heart, soul, and mind and love my neighbour as myself. I shall pursue love in all that I do. I shall do everything in love and nothing without it in Jesus’ name. Help me Holy Spirit.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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