We’re reading A Wrinkle in Time and recently watched the movie. This line caught my attention:
“In order to be great, it isn’t enough just to be right. You have to actually be great.”
We in religious circles like to believe we’re right. Some like to think that having correct information about Yehovah is what it’s all about. Some think “knowing” what is right and preaching it means they are right and are somehow approved in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. But that would only make sense if all that mattered to the Lord were our brains. Actually, that kind of right makes us about as good as the demons who “know” exactly who Elohim is:
“You believe that Elohim is one. You do well; even the demons believe and shudder.” -Jam 2:19
I’m sure we’ve all experienced a religious person with incredible knowledge, but, rather than love, is puffed up with pride. We hear all sorts of details about the truths in the Bible from their mouth but through the same person comes arrogance, condescension, mockery, slander, dissension, and even hate of those younger in the faith or less knowledgeable. This sort of religion is not from our Heavenly Father no matter what it calls itself. Doesn’t this sound just like the enemy, ha-satan, who has much knowledge but is without love and humility? It should be becoming obvious that “knowing” Biblical truths and “knowing” about Elohim are not what matter most to Him. So what does matter most? What does the Most High want most from us?
“And coming up, one of the scribes, hearing them arguing, knowing that He answered them well, he questioned Him, ‘What is the first commandment of all?’ And Yeshua answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel. Yehovah is our God, Yehovah is one, and you shall love Yehovah your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and strength.’ (Deu 6:4-5). This is the first commandment. And the second is like this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Lev 19:18). There is not another commandment greater than these.’” -Mark 12:28-31
Considering that the two greatest commandments in the Bible are both love, it’s ironic that some who clearly do not display love in their interactions with others can still presume themselves to be biblically devout! Of course, this stems again from the fundamental flaw in spiritual understanding that simply “knowing” the Word is sufficient. No doubt these very same people would quote the above words of Yeshua with chapter and verse reference perfectly! But the Son of Elohim says that loving Yehovah with all of our heart, our soul, our mind, and our strength, and to love others as ourselves is the most important thing we can do on this earth. Love, not knowledge, is what is most important to our Heavenly Father. Knowing about love or any other instruction from the mouth of Yehovah without doing it is completely useless. We could have all the knowledge in the world, but without love our religion is meaningless because God is love.
“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophecies, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” -1Cor 13:1-2
“If anyone says, I love Elohim, and hates his brother, he is a liar. For the one not loving his brother whom he has seen, how is he able to love Elohim whom he has not seen? And we have this commandment from Him, that the one who loves Elohim also loves his brother.” -1Jn 4:20-21
“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of Elohim, and everyone who loves has been born of Elohim, and knows Elohim. The one who does not love has not known Elohim, because Elohim is love.” -1Jn 4:7-8
So what does the active love of Elohim look like?
“If you love Me, keep My commandments… He that has My commandments and keeps them, it is that one who loves Me; and the one that loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I shall love him and will reveal Myself to him.” -Jn 14:15,21
“For this is the love of Elohim, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not heavy.” -1Jn 5:3
And what does the active love of others look like?
“By this we know that we love the children of Elohim: when we love Elohim and keep His commandments.” -1Jn 5:2
“Love has patience, is kind; love is not envious; love is not vain, is not puffed up; does not behave indecently, does not pursue its own things, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth. Love quietly covers all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” -1Cor 13:4-7
If we have knowledge of what is right, but do not actively do it, there is a major problem. The problem is not the Word. The problem is not knowledge. The problem is that we have a hardened heart, refusing to submit to the Lord’s Word and His Spirit. The Word of Elohim tells us His desire for us and His Spirit convicts us to change, that we would turn away from the sin in our lives which is contrary to His Word and turn toward the standard of the Most High. The Word is not supposed to harden us so we can beat others with our knowledge. It is supposed to soften us so we can encourage and inspire the hearts of those around us. It is not to make us into the enemy of our Creator, having much knowledge but refusing to humble ourselves to walk wholly in His ways. It is to mold us daily into the likeness of Yeshua, the Word of Elohim made flesh.
So this is a challenge, for myself and all with knowledge of the Lord and His Word:
- Which is greater in your life, your knowledge or your love?
- Are you great according to Yeshua’s standard or your own?
- Are you truly Yeshua’s disciple, walking in His footsteps?
“But the greater of you shall be your servant. And whoever will exalt himself shall be humbled, and whoever will humble himself shall be exalted.” -Matt 23:11-12
“But we, the strong ones, ought to bear the weaknesses of those not strong, and not to please ourselves. For let each one of us please his neighbor for good, to building up. For also Messiah did not please Himself, but even as it has been written, ‘The curses of those cursing You fell on Me.” (Psa. 68:10; Psa. 69:9). For whatever things were written before were written for our instruction, that through patience and encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. And may the Elohim of patience and encouragement give to you to mind the same thing among one another according to Messiah Yeshua, that with one accord and with one mouth you may glorify the Elohim and Father of our Lord Yeshua Messiah. Because of this, receive one another as Messiah also received us, to the glory of Elohim.” -Rom 15:1-7
“By this all shall know that you are My disciples, if you have love among one another.” -Jn 13:35