First Commandment Continued

Why God desires to restore the First Commandment.
Last week I shared how God used a cat named Angel to show me what mature love looks like.  I would like to expand on Angel’s story this week.  Please refer to ARC’s website blog if you missed last week’s post.
The First Commandment says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:28-30).  At first glance, one could feel this is a selfish desire from God but it isn’t.  The Holy Scriptures say that “God is love” (1 John 4:16) and “love is not self-seeking,” (1 Corinthians 13:5) therefore God is not commanding us to love him first for His benefit but to bless and protect us.  Please let me explain.
One day I came home and saw that the wind had forced open the barn door, which is jam-packed with stuff.  As I went to shut the door, I saw Hisser and Fraidy Cat were in the barn.  I tried to get them out, but they ran and hid within all the stuff.  Days passed and I couldn’t convince them to come out of the dark, cold barn.  Why would they want to stay in the barn instead of the warm house we created for them, where they were fed every day?  Was it the dream of a better life within all the stuff?  Were they that afraid of me?  Or was it some of both?  I became concerned for them.  I knew there was no food in there, some left over rat poison, and it was going to get extremely cold.  What might seem like a good life to them now could quickly lead to their death.  I wished they would trust me.
Each day I opened a door for them in the hope they would walk out to safety.  They would not come through the door or listen to my call.  Thoughts came to me as Angel walked by.  She loves me and knows my voice.  She comes when I call her.  She once went in the barn with me but also came out with me.  She trusts me.  I believe she loves me more than the all the stuff in the barn.  They might trust her because she is “one of them.”  I wondered if I could trust her to go in and convince them to come out before they died.  I sent her in.
Sure enough, Angel was able to convince Hisser to follow her out.  Unfortunately, Fraidy Cat would not follow.  I wondered if she would starve or freeze to death.  What else could I do?  My heart grieved for her.  The last thing I could do was send my daughter Grace in to try and save her.  She did not trust Grace either. Out of all of my loving attempts to save this cat and bring her back to her warm home with food that I created for her, fear held her back and may destroy her.
This simple life story revealed the Gospel to me.  It helped me understand God’s heart better.  It also helped me understand why the First Commandment is the “Great” Commandment and why it is in front of the second Commandment which is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Mark 12:31)
I didn’t want to send any of the other cats in the barn to try and save the lost ones.  I only felt safe sending Angel in because I knew her love for me was greater than all the “stuff” in the barn.  Her love and trust for me would save her.  All the others could easily get lost in all the “stuff” and eventually die.  This can happen so easily.  Kind hearted creatures of God get a little fear, a little “stuff” in our life, and all of a sudden we are naturally trapped and spiritually dying.  How is your heart?  Do you love being near to God more than “stuff?”
Go through the door.  Answer His call.  Listen to Grace.  Let Him come near.  He truly loves you and desires to protect you.         In Christ,  Andy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *