“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” –Matthew 22:36-40
Life is full of unexplained events. We see things happen around us and our only reaction is to shake our heads in wonder and amazement. Many of the events that take place around us fill our lives with joy and excitement whiles others are shockingly sad and disrupt life. When these events happen, good and bad, we often reason that they are, “The will of God.”
There is no doubt that God is at work in our world. The scriptures remind us that it was by the spoken word of God that all things were brought into existence (Genesis 1). God has also expressed His great love for the world by interceding on our behalf throughout history (Ephesians 2:4-5). However, that does not mean that God is responsible for every possible action and reaction we experience in life.
God has given each of us free will. We have the ability to choose how we will act when we get out of bed each day (if we choose to get out of bed at all). Because of free will, we can also decide how we will respond to a given situation. Not all things that happen are the will of God. In fact, there are a great many things that take place that are far from God’s purpose for His creation.
How can we know the will of God? How can we tell if certain things are God’s intended plan for the world? Jesus reminds us in Matthew’s Gospel, that God’s will always begins with love. We are called by God to exercise our free will by first loving God and secondly, loving our neighbors just as we love ourselves. We are by no means perfect in living out God’s will for our lives, but if we choose to love God and love our neighbors we are no doubt starting to live as God intends. Today, choose love. “On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”
Rev. Keith King, Online Campus Pastor