In 1967 the Beatles released a song titled “All We Need Is Love” which sat atop Billboard’s charts for eleven consecutive weeks. Their manager at the time stated, “… they really wanted to give the world a message… it is a clear message saying that love is everything.” In fact, the simple chorus repeats the words: “all you need is love…”
What a message for the world to hear!
During the month of February, many of us focus on the idea of love (thanks to Valentine’s Day), but really the message of love is timeless and not bound by a simple holiday.
And to be totally truthful, The Beatles did not invent the idea that “all we need is love.” That was a message taught and written long before they made it popular… about 2,000 years earlier by Jesus.
Jesus often found Himself in a tight spot as He had a tendency to upset what traditional religion had established in His lifetime. Jesus often spoke against the religious leaders of His day and offered a better way – a way founded in grace (not rules) and love (not guilt).
In fact, there was one exchange recorded in the New Testament where a lawyer came to ask Jesus a question with the hopes of trapping Him with His words. Here is that exchange as recorded in the Gospel according to Matthew:
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:36-40 NLT
Do you see that? What does Jesus say is the most important thing? Love. We are supposed to learn to love God with all that we are – our minds, our hearts, our bodies. And then we are supposed to love others. But then He goes on to say this: everything else hangs in the balance of these two things.
So, what does that mean for you and me? It’s simple – not easy – but simple. If we learn to love God and love others, then everything else will take care of itself.
Think about it – if I learned to love everyone (not just the people I like), how differently would my relationships look? If I learned to love God, how differently would my priorities look? If I could learn to love, then everything else falls in place.
The apostle Paul describes the kind of love we should have: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance”. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT
Here is an exercise for us to see how we are doing. Go back and read the quote above, but this time, every time to get to the word “love” or “it” put your own name in its place. Then ask yourself: how am I doing? (It’s a simple formula – not an easy one.)
So in this month where we set aside a day of love, let’s make it a lifestyle not just a holiday Because remember, The Beatles were right (just not the first) to say: “All You Need Is Love.”