Images appeal to the flesh. Beauty is only skin deep. Solomon says that “charm is deceitful and beauty is vain” (Proverbs:31:30 [NASB]) and Peter warns against outward attractiveness and commends “the hidden man of the heart” (1 Peter:3:4). What folly to think that an image of Christ created by one’s imagination helps one to know and love Him.
Love is not primarily a feeling. It is a commitment. This is the missing ingredient in much that is called love today. A genuine and lasting commitment to one another is often lacking even in Christian marriages due to worldly influence and the promotion by church leaders of loving, esteeming, accepting, and valuing self.
Commitment is also the missing ingredient in many a Christian’s relationship with God. Rather than working up a feeling that you love God, make a commitment to Him to love and obey Him. Jesus promised, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me… and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him…and my father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him (John:14:21-23).
We need to know God and His love in our hearts. As we seek Him in His Word and in prayer, He will reveal Himself by His Spirit. We are to love Him with our whole heart, soul, and might. May He grant us a fresh conviction of the sin of not loving Him as we ought, and may the desire to obey this first and greatest commandment become our passion. Only then will we begin to manifest that love for one another that Christ said would be the mark whereby the world would be able to recognize His true disciples – those to whom He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”