Lenten Devotional Reading for March 17 written by Dayna Brown

Matthew 12:28-34

How often do we think, “I don’t feel like it” in reference to any number of things? Working out immediately comes to mind (Amen, somebody?) Even when we know the right thing to do, if we’re not careful, our feelings can sidetrack us.

Today’s passage reminds us that agape love is not grounded in our fickle, funny, and fleeting feelings. No, loving God is an act of loyalty born of our confession of who God is, gratitude for all God has done, affirmation of what God is doing, and hope in what God will do. In fact, Jesus calls on teaching from the Hebrew Bible in reminding us that the love of God is the first and greatest commandment. This love is not passive, but active, intentional, and all-encompassing. Not only are we to love God with our heart, through our lives [soul], in our thinking, and with all our might, but the outgrowth of our love for God is our love for others. That is, if we truly love God, we must also love those made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-28): our neighbors and ourselves.

Love is more than a feeling; it’s a commandment. And aren’t we glad and grateful to be the recipients of God’s greatest expression of love in action:

“For God so loved the world that [God] gave [God’s] only Son, so that everyone who believes In [God] may not perish but may have eternal life. John 3:16 (NRSV)

Self-check: Do your heart, your life, your thinking and your efforts demonstrate your love for God?

God, no matter how I may feel, you are worthy of my love, adoration and praise today and every day. Amen

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