As we looked at the preface to the Ten Commandments last Lord’s Day, we were reminded that Jesus says the whole Moral Law hangs upon two commandments (Deut. 6:5 and Lev. 19:18 per Matt. 22:37-40), which can be summed up in one word toward God and man: love. And love is not a feeling, but an attitude expressed in action.
Beloved, love thus empowers life. And love is an attitude of gratitude. As we saw, a loving attitude is expressed as genuine by keeping God’s commandments (Ex. 20:6; John 14:15, 21; 1 John 5:3). If our life is a downer, it is because we lack the love to look up to God and see how He is blessing us, often through other people around us. Such a dismissive spirit that declines to see God’s Spirit working His good providence in all things of our life is to be living a defiant life of rebellion that disobeys God — and it serves as a distinguisher of the holy fire and abundant life available in Christ. The famous ice skater Scott Hamilton put it this way:
I just learned that the only disability is a bad attitude.
Mr. Hamilton made this comment in a video interview that Elder Renner brought to my attention recently, in which Mr. Hamilton shared about all the extremely difficult providences he went through all his life. His resolve to accept it all from Christ’s hand with their purpose of special blessings is something we must all emulate. You can watch the video here.
Notice that the name of the video series is, “I Am Second”; that perspective of reality is the key to a happy life. As we have often noted, it is actually more accurate to say, “I Am Third.” For true J.O.Y. comes by truly making Jesus first, Others second, and You third. This acronym, it seems to me, is not only the way to a fulfilled soul, but a good way to sum up the Ten Commandments in love. And tomorrow night, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a will make it clear that love is primarily self-denial so as to lift up others for Christ’s sake.
Tomorrow morning, Christ will preach to you about how you must Love Your LORD Completely. Tomorrow night, He will preach to you about how Love is Friendly. Both of the two greatest commandments will thus be studied afresh. May you and I, in the Spirit, take an honest account of how much we love our God for Himself and our neighbor as our self. For, as RC Sproul has said,
If you’re not accountable for your life, that means ultimately that your life doesn’t count.