by Ken Trivette

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The First Commandment (4 of 5)
Series: First Things First
Ken Trivette
Matthew 22:35-38

1. Someone has said, ''The most lonely place in the world is the human heart when love is absent.'' The absence of love in our hearts was often an issue that the Lord Jesus condemned, whereas, the presence of love in our hearts was commended by our Lord.

2. Our Lord condemned the Church at Ephesus for their absence of love in the words, ''Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love'' (Rev. 2:4). He questioned the presence of love in Simon Peter when He asked three specific times, ''Lovest thou me'' (John 21:15-17). As the shadow of the cross fell upon Him, he complimented His disciples with the words, ''thou hast loved me'' (John 17:21). The absence of love was condemned. The presence of love was commended.

3. In the text before us, Jesus speaks to us about the matter of love. As we carefully consider the text we take note that it was not just any kind of love that Jesus addressed but a specific kind of love with a specific object of our love. As the writer said, the human heart can be a very lonely place when love is absent, but I would add that it can also be a very lowly place if there be the presence of love, yet the object of that love be an unworthy object.

4. It was said of Demas that he ''loved this present world'' (2 Tim. 4:10). Peter spoke of those who ''loved the wages of unrighteousness'' (2 Peter 2:15). Jesus spoke of those who ''loved the praise of men more than the praise of God'' (John 12:43) and of ''men who loved darkness rather than life, because their deeds were evil'' (John 3:19). Paul spoke of those who were ''lovers of their own selves'' (2 Tim. 3:2) and ''lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God'' (2 Tim. 3:4). There was the presence of love but love with an unworthy object.

5. In the text before us Jesus speaks to us about the ultimate object of our love. He speaks of loving God and goes so ...

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