"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matthew 22:37-39).
Repeated in both Old and New Testaments, the two great commands must form the determined purpose of our heart in all things, and at all times. We are to love God, and to love others in everything we do.
This determination, however, must always be viewed as the primary fruit of our existence, rather than as its root.
"We love Him because He first loved us" (I John 4:19).
"The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another" (John 13:34).
Our love for God and others can never independently arise in and of ourselves. Only our Creator is love in His essence (I John 4:8; 16). Only He can originate, feel, and act from Himself the sublime reality of this most wonderful quality of His holy being. Therefore, when genuine love is known and expressed in any created being, the source and power always flows from the God who "is love," and from living relationship with Him.
Such relationship begins and eternally continues through the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave Me commandment, even so I do" (John 14:30-31).
The Son who perfectly loves both the Father and the human race is the one who enables us to do the same. "God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father" (Galatians 4:6). The Christ who lived a perfectly earthly lifetime of loving His Father and others now dwells within the redeemed spirits of born again believers. Thereby we are enabled to "walk, even as He walked," and thus to love the Father and to love others in the beauty of holy self sacrifice (I John 2:6). Our experience of this "hope of glory" will not be perfect as it was in the Lord Jesus, but it is mean to be more and more the consistent reality of our thoughts, attitudes, emotions, words, actions, and relatings to God and man. "As touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more" (I Thessalonians 4:9-10).
Any other understanding of what our life is, or what our determined purpose is meant to be, does not fit God's definition of life. We exist to be loved by Him, to love Him in response through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and to love others as the expression of our Christ-wrought union with God. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing else. There is, in fact, nothing else, because any other existence is vanity in the present, and eternal misery in the future. May our Heavenly Father lead us more and more to the only emphasis whereby we are truly alive, and to its vibrant expression in our lives both now and forevermore.
"Mercy unto you, and peace, and love be multiplied."