Jeremiah 24-26; Titus 2
“A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.” I saw this quotation, attributed to the Wizard of Oz, on a wall plaque in a gift shop.
The Wizard of Oz may be a good story, but it’s not a reliable source of spiritual information. God said something quite different. According to Him, the greatest commandment is to love—to love Him first and then others (Mark 12:29-31). Scripture says nothing about expecting to be loved in return. In fact, Jesus stated the opposite in His most famous sermon: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven” (Matt. 5:11-12).
When it comes to love, the important thing we need to know is this: All love starts with God (1 John 4:19). As Moses told the Israelites, God delighted in them to love them (Deut. 10:15), and because of that they were to love others, even strangers (v.19). God’s intent is that the people who receive His love will become the conduit of His love to others.
Apart from God—who Himself is love—none of us could truly love or be loved (1 John 4:7-8).
He did not stay as God above,
But chose a manger and a cross
To show that He was Love. —Wilmshurst