“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is One LORD. Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).
“This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come. Men shall be lovers of their own selves. . .” (II Timothy 3:1-2a).
The dichotomy between these two verses is a chasm so deep and wide, it cannot be crossed. Who do you love? That is a question that is as profound as it is conscience rending.
Who do you love? Do you love your wife, your husband, your children (not everyone does, you know). Do you love your neighbors, your community, your State, your Country? Do you love God?
Who do you love most? The commandment through Moses is to love the LORD our God with all of our heart, all of our soul and all of our strength. That is loving with everything in our being. Loving that way is self-sacrificing, self effacing, self denying. It is being willing to lose one’s life for the sake of Christ, the LORD (cf. Luke 9:24).
The Apostle’s Epistle to Timothy speaks to a different love, the love of self. Loving one’s self most will lead to being “covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy” (II Timothy 3:2b). Loving one’s self will not lead to self sacrifice, self denial; rather will lead to one seeking by any means to save his life. Loving one’s self is ego centric, self promoting, self centered, and self preserving.
In his Epistle to the Philippians the Apostle says it causes him to weep for those who walk in self love, saying “they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things” (Philippians 3:18b-19).
Self love is carnal, immature, undisciplined, and promotes only personal gain. This is the antithesis to the Gospel of Christ. The Apostles set forth through their lives and Epistles the true message of love:
“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
“I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, I live; yet, not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
“That I may know Him, and the power of His Resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death” (Philippians 3:10).
“If any man love God, the same is known of Him” (1 Corinthians 8:3).
Who do you Love?
This is a question we would all do well to give some serious contemplation. The answer to this fundamental question may well re-orient our lives and set us on a new course. It is a probing question that only the Holy Spirit can fully resolve in our hearts. Be exhorted to spend some time in prayer on this all important matter; meditate upon it, and find your answer. Your destiny awaits.