Applying the Law of Love
Take a moment to think of the Father. Contemplate His matchless personality, His divine mercy, the depth of His love. Consider His love for you ... personally ... individually. Call to mind His endless blessings you have been lovingly given. Know that he is an awesome God!
Now ... return that love to Him. Radiate back to the Father with your whole heart, soul, and mind how much you love and appreciate Him. Let that warmth flow out from your core in all directions. Sustain that joy. Hold those feelings. Maintain those thoughts.
Now ... become aware of your feelings. You have filled yourself up with divine love. Your entire being is engulfed in the highest form of human compassion. The power of this state of mind is absolutely exquisite because it crowds out all contrary emotions.
Examine yourself. Is there any place within you for condemnation? As you feel the love for God flowing through you, is there any room for judgment? Can you formulate a negative thought? Applying the first commandment neutralizes all negativity. In that state, it is impossible to harbor ill will toward anyone.
Now you are in a position to apply the second commandment because the love that you are now willing to share is not on your own strength. The love you can now show to your fellow is bolstered by the Father’s love. The second commandment has become much easier, even welcomed.
That is the secret of ‘loving your brother.’ Love the Father first. As Jesus said: “This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:38) It’s first for a reason! We apply it first. When we attempt to apply the second commandment first, we encounter difficulty – the commandment appears to be burdensome.
This process or methodology was expressed by the apostle John:
“This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.”
– 1 John 5:2-3
And if this method does not work for us, i.e., if loving the Father first does not create in us the capacity to love our brothers, we need a self-examination. We are misleading ourselves:
“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”
– 1 John 4:20-21
Our brotherly love must encompass all of the children of God, including those of other faiths, other races, other nationalities, even those who might be considered unrighteous, even our enemies:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
– Matthew 5:43-48
The goal of every child of God is perfection in personality (Hebrew 12:2), as well as perfection in love. Though we may not achieve these goals in this lifetime, that must be the direction we are traveling. In this life, we are not made perfect by what we do, but by what we strive to do.
Now we understand the illustration of the mustard seed. We understand how the truth that God is the Father of every man, can grow into a massive tree that encompasses the entire world and provides comfort and “perch in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32) For if God is the Father of every man, and we love God with our whole heart, soul and mind, then we are able to love every man, who is our brother, as ourselves.
When we plant this tiny, yet powerful seed in our hearts, we begin to sprout righteous fruit – the fruits of the spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23) Instead of taking laws from outside ourselves and applying them, we learn the law of love from the kingdom seed within ourselves and manifest them. The truth becomes our own and we need no one teaching us what to do or how to act. (1 John 2:27) The spirit is leading us. It is as Jeremiah prophesied:
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
– Jeremiah 31:33
All persons thus lead by the spirit are children of God (Romans 8:14) who will eventually grow to the full stature of the Christ. (Ephesians 4:13) Yes, from such small beginnings, the tiny mustard seed has become a mighty tree.