Christ-like love is the common denominator in our Christian character. Earlier, in this narrative, Jesus was questioned: “Sir, which is the most important command in the laws of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.’ 38-39 This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar: ‘Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself’” (Mt. 22:36-39). In John 13:34-35, Jesus said to His disciples, “…love each other just as much as I love you. 35 Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” Genuine love for God, for fellow Christians, and even for all people is essential to the Christian faith. In fact, this love is much like a thermostat that measures that state of our heart.
Jesus clearly stated that in the “last days,” the heart of the Christian is in the crosshairs of sin. It’s simple, sin is the enemy of love. In the Living Bible Translation, Matthew 24:12 says, “Sin will be rampant everywhere and will cool the love of many.” Have you noticed how the presence of sin has ramped up in our world? Many sins that used to be hidden eventually became tolerated and are now even celebrated. Now we can rant and rave about what we see in our world, but the real questions is, what is going on in your heart? Are you tolerating or even celebrating what you once considered shameful?
Here’s what Jesus is saying; Christian love can cool. And because it can grow cold, we have a responsibility to lead our own heart away from sin and towards the fire of God’s presence and power. I love the imagery of the King James Version, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Mt. 24:12). The words used here depict a burning candle and how if we are not careful, our love can cool much like wax that drips down the candle; the further it moves away from the flame, the harder and cooler is becomes. Isn’t that true of our hearts? It’s certainly true of mine.
Get closer to Jesus today. If you’ve noticed a cooling of your love for God, for His church, or for all people, take inventory of your soul. Have you let sin and selfishness grow in your heart? Have you moved further from the flame of His presence? He is lovingly calling you back to Him, back to the flame of His presence. Stay ready, Jesus is coming soon!