Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. So love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second most important commandment is this: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”Mark 12:29-31 GW
God wants me to love Him with everything that I am. So I asked myself this question: how can I show God love? The Bible gives us the answer.
“Whoever knows and obeys my commandments is the person who loves me. Those who love me will have my Father’s love, and I, too, will love them and show myself to them.”John 14:21 GW
Obey Christ’s commandments. That’s the best way to show God that you really love Him. He asks for our obedience. If we love Him, we’ll give Him what He wants. If we don’t, we won’t.
What did Jesus tell His disciples to do? Go and make disciples and teach them to obey. If we love God, we’ll make disciples. If not, we’ll do anything but that.
Our mission is to make disciples, plain and simple. If we’re not doing that, we’re being disobedient. I’ve long said the answer to all of society’s ills is to make more disciples that are led by the Holy Spirit. If we teach people to listen and obey, God will take care of everything else. That’s my conclusion. You can draw your own.
So my next question is: how can I love my neighbor as myself? The Bible has an answer for that as well!
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all his angels are with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. The people of every nation will be gathered in front of him. He will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right but the goats on his left.
“Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, my Father has blessed you! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me into your home. I needed clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then the people who have God’s approval will reply to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or see you thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you as a stranger and take you into our homes or see you in need of clothes and give you something to wear? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“The king will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant ⌞they seemed⌟, you did for me.’
“Then the king will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me! God has cursed you! Go into everlasting fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels! I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me into your homes. I needed clothes, and you didn’t give me anything to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t take care of me.’
“They, too, will ask, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or as a stranger or in need of clothes or sick or in prison and didn’t help you?’
“He will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you failed to do for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant ⌞they seemed⌟, you failed to do for me.’
“These people will go away into eternal punishment, but those with God’s approval will go into eternal life.”Matthew 25:31-46 GW
It would appear that taking care of people’s physical needs is showing love. Loving people is loving God. Isn’t that interesting? Not only are you being obedient to God’s command to love others, you’re also loving the Christ in them as well. Taking care of the needs of the poor is God’s love in action. This is the Church’s moment to rise and shine. What will we do?
It only seems fitting, on the day that we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. here in the United States, that we should be reminded to love one another.
What’s the cure for all our problems? Returning to our first love and doing the works we did at first. Just love, people. Just love people. If you want to be a disciple, practice loving people everyday without judgment or prejudice. It’ll make the world a better place. I guarantee.
Don’t be shy in showing people you love them. It’s the antidote for fear, anxiety and depression. We’re blessed to be a blessing.
May the Lord bless you this day with a heart of compassion as pure as Jesus and with the boldness of a lion. May you be led to loving action by the Spirit of God. And may all you do be done in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things. We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.Hebrews 10:24-25 GW