First Commandment

God is Restoring the First Commandment on the Earth.
…he asked him (Jesus), “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this… 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)
Most of you are aware that we moved back to the farm I grew up on. In the process of moving back, there was a cat that had a litter of kittens.  Each weekend I brought a load of stuff back to the farm and tried to pet and tend to the cats. Oddly enough, God has used these cats to speak to me about my relationship with Him.
I wanted to have a good relationship with the cats.  I like cats. (If you don’t like cats, please substitute a dog in this story so that you don’t miss out.) It was my sincere desire to love on these cats and make them feel very welcome on the farm.  I would try and approach them very gently to pet them, but most would run away in fear; that is, all but one.  We affectionately call her Angel. She was never afraid. In fact, she would come to me as though she wanted to be in relationship with me.  God has used this cat to help me better understand the First Commandment. Please let me explain.
There is a difference between Angel and the rest of the cats. Not that the other cats are unloving. However, I believe Angel shows mature love.  The first commandment says to love with all your heart (will), soul (emotion/character), mind (thoughts), and strength (action). Angel is the first to come and greet me when I rise and again when I return from the day.  She enjoys rubbing against my leg and being near me. She is also a good listener and very obedient. This fills my heart and in return I want to bless her by petting her or giving her treats.  Some of the other cats live differently. Fluffy is kind but a little selfish.  She will let me pet her but you can tell it is because she wants something.  She usually comes near during dinner time. It doesn’t feel like she enjoys being near me like Angel and that her affection is more based on personal need (to be fed).  Hisser lives in fear of me. Because he is afraid he is fairly obedient, however, there is no emotional connection. Finally, there is Fraidy Cat.  I don’t have a better name for her yet because she is too afraid to get near.  She runs away the minute I get close. Even though I want to love on her by petting her, she denies all my attempts. I often wonder what happened in her past to keep her so distant from me. I wish she would let go of her past and let me come near.
Isn’t this a lot like our spiritual walk?  What cat are you like?  God’s greatest delight is when we delight in him. Come near to Him and He will come near to you. (James 4:8) Don’t let fear separate you any longer.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love (him) because (we understand) he first loved us.         (1 John 4:18)
Blessings,   Andy

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