“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40
Jesus summed up the entire law with the simple command of love God and love others.
In this single statement, Jesus revealed humanity's greatest need as well as the highest call for us as Christians. For whatever reason, whether it be fear, selfishness or just plain laziness, this weighty issue of faith sometimes does not sit well with our stomach.
Being independently dependent upon Jesus Christ involves understanding the true source for sustainability in our walks. The love of God must fuel us. There is nothing else strong enough to motivate us to care for one another by extending a hand.
If we are shallow in our walks with God, we will continue to be shallow with others. Our willingness to “go there” and invest in the lives of others is an expression of the health and vitality of our walks with God.
Like Christ, we must be willing to move into relationships and help those that are in our sphere of influence. It is our responsibility to engage, invest and encourage them. Helping someone walk with God requires taking the time to get to know him or her, which can only occur if we are willing to lean in, listen to their story and try to understand their heart.
The first step is making room in our own lives to know more of God’s heart. Inviting Him into our heart allows us to show the heart of God to others as we enter their world.
Through our attempts to love others, God stretches us, teaches us and reveals to us more of His character. The depth we crave in our walk with Him develops as our hearts slowly become His own. Giving ourselves away is the most powerful way to live. It is the cure for a lot of the problems we face in our individualistic culture.
Scripture reminds us that “whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for God will find it” (Matthew 16:25). This takes place by following a simple command: love God and love others.
- Where do you need to "lean in" and respond to the nudges you feel to love God and love others?
God, allow me to take the call to love others seriously. Enable me to see that my willingness to help others means nothing if it isn’t grounded in love. May the love I extended to others come from the overflow of feeling loved by You. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.