There are the two Great Commandments that leads us to the Great Commission. These are our duties. Our calling is to worship God by seriously pursuing these ends. This is what it means to enjoy and glorify God. However, let us be careful to enjoy God before we glorify him. Let us be careful to rest and receive before endeavoring to reciprocate. It is vital that we be careful not to look at the two Great Commandments or the one Great Commission without looking first at the Greatly Compassionate One.
1 Corinthians 13 describes the undeserved, unlimited, unwavering, love of our Heavenly Father:
- He speaks in both the tongues of men and of angels, and oh how he loves us.
- He has prophetic powers and understands all mysteries and knowledge. He is omniscient, and oh how he loves us.
- He has faith that moves mountains. He has faith that moves heaven and earth. He has faith that moves us to have faith, and oh how he loves us.
- He gives away all he has and is. He delivers up his body to be burned in the holy wrath of the Father. He takes hell for his beloved children. He delivers up his body to be tortured, pierced, and crucified for us. And why? Consider how much he loves us.
- He is so patient and kind. He is longsuffering and not quick to harshly discipline. He loves us so much.
- He is not envious of our success. He is the one who gifts and promotes us. Then, seeing the position, inheritance, and success with which he gifts us, he boasts over us in song. He is our proud Father, and proud Husband, and he loves us so much.
- He is not arrogant or rude. While having all dignity and honor, he gently and humbly serves and loves us. Continually he washes our feet.
- He does not insist on his own way. Oh, not for a moment does he rejoice in our wrongdoing; he only rejoices in his truth for his way is best, right, and holy. His commands are his expectation, but his affection is never based upon our obedience. He keeps no record of our wrongs, for he has been punished for them and has thrown one-hundred percent of them in his “Sea of Forgetfulness.” And this is very, very good for you. Oh how he loves sinners. Oh how he loves you and me.
- He bears all things. We can cast all our sins and cares upon him. His shoulders are that broad. His back is that strong. Oh how he loves us.
- He believes all things. He knows the plans he has for his elect. He knows that for which we have been eternally ordained. He has always loved us with radical affection. Before the foundation of the world, he loved us so.
- He hopes all things. He can’t wait for us to enjoy our glorified souls, bodies, homes, and community. His love for is is glorious, and it will be even more glorious in days to come.
- He endures all things. He will never let us go because he loves us so.
- And this love of his, it will never, never end. Not after your unintentional sin. Not after you intentional sin. Not after your small peccadilloes. Not after your major disasters. Not after quick falls. Not after long seasons of prodigal living. Not after your public sins of commission. Not after your private sins of omission. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever! And why is this? Because his love is undeserved, unlimited, and it flows forth from his unwavering heart. Prophecies will go away. Tongues will cease. The same could be said for knowledge. However, God’s agape love goes on and on and on, and his phileo love is to be experienced each and every day.
Therefore, let us receive the indicative before focusing on the imperative. Let us rest and receive before seeking to reciprocate. We must be ministered to before seeing to minister for. Let us make sure to experience the embrace of the Greatly Compassionate One before striving to keep his two Great Commandments and his one Great Commission.
Then, being reminded of the Greatly Compassionate One who is always “pouring his love into our hearts,” let us respond by loving him and loving our neighbors. Let us enjoy him filling our cup of love to overflowing that the abundance of his love might flow towards him and to our neighbors. We can enjoy him, then we can glorify him by striving to keep his two Great Commandments and one Great Commission:
If speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away … So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-8, 13)