Love…Upward, Inward, And Outward

Currently, I’m teaching a series at Freedom Bible Church called “Like Jesus.” As followers of Jesus…our Biblical mandate is to imitate Him. We are called to walk like Jesus, think like Jesus, and act like Jesus. Thankfully, the Gospels show us a pattern for how to do just that. It teaches us that we are to love upward, inward, and outward.

Jesus was NEVER less than God yet He chose to live His life NEVER more than man! In other words, Jesus did not play the “God card” and use His deity to live out His humanity. Instead, Jesus gave us an example to follow on how to live as God intended for us to live. Jesus lived fully dependent on the Spirit of God, fully obedient to the Word of God, and fully reliant on the power of God through prayer. 

During His life on earth…Jesus loved God, loved others, and made disciples. And He commands us to do the same! In Mark 12:28-34, Jesus boils down all 613 Old Testament laws into one word: LOVE


“Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, & strength”

Loving God partially is NOT a thing. We don’t have that option. Jesus says we are to love God wholly and completely. To love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength is to be totally committed and totally surrendered to God. 


“Love your neighbor as yourself”

Jesus is not advocating for us to selfishly love ourselves. By nature we are concerned for our own well-being and needs. We naturally put ourselves before others. So when Jesus says to “love your neighbor as yourself”, He’s calling us to unselfish love. He’s telling us to care for others with the same consideration that we extend to ourselves. To love yourself correctly means to take the love you naturally have for yourself and turned it out toward others. It means that I will serve the needs of others with all the energy, passion, and zeal with which I attempt to meet my own needs.


“Love your neighbor as yourself”

When I love God fully and love myself correctly, I can truly love my neighbor genuinely! I will love those around me by dying to myself, serving their needs, and putting them first. It means that I will break down any barriers that I’ve created between myself and others. 

Ultimately to be “Like Jesus” we need to love like Jesus. To love like Jesus is to love God fully (Upward), love ourselves correctly (Inward), and love others genuinely (Outward). Upward, inward, and outward love! It’s how Jesus lived and it’s how He calls us to live. 

“Start by loving God with your entire being and follow that up with loving others the way you’d like to be loved.” – Daniel Fusco


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