Missing the Point
Ever wanna know the heart of God? Wanna lean in close and know what He desires for our lives on this feeble fleeting earth?
“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.”
Did you catch that? When Jesus was asked which of the commandments were the greatest (and there were a lot to choose from), He narrowed it down to two. Love the Lord with everything you’ve got, but also take what comes natural (self-preservation and self-care) and extend that to your neighbor.
That’s right. Notice He didn’t say love God and go on ahead and love yourself while you’re at it. Nope.
Love your neighbor AS yourself.
News flash (and it was for me years ago) – it’s not all about ME! (Thank goodness!) It’s not all about you, either. Here’s what I’m thinking: If we love God with everything we’ve got, focusing on Him with our heart, mind, soul, and strength, then the natural fruit of that should be to love His bride, as He does.
His church, our “neighbors,” matter to the heart of God. He didn’t just send His Son to die for you or just for me, or even just the other people we prefer.
He sent His Son to die for the unlovely, the hard-to-love people that get under our skin. He died for the rough-around-the-edges, difficult, annoying people. He died for that person who seems impossible to wrap our arms around.
Yes. He did. And if our heart, soul, mind, and strength are going to be sold out for God, then we need to be sold out for them, too. You see, I don’t wanna miss the point. I don’t want to be that Christian who is in her neat and tidy bubble, complete with all her favorite peeps, and totally miss the soil I am called to tend.
Before Jesus was arrested and crucified, He prayed specifically. My heart aches when I dig deeper into what He thought important enough to speak to the Father about just hours before He would walk that painful road to the cross. His eyes were clear, His mind was focused, and He prayed with a heart that breaks mine.
Open up the pages of your Bible to John 17. Read with me…
“Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.”
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Jesus’s prayer for His disciples and for all believers was for us to be one as He and the Father are one.
Unity is a word that our society literally has no idea how to actually get their hands around. You see it in the threats, the destruction, the attacks from within and from without. The greatest wounding often happening from inside the walls of the church.
Friends, this grieves the heart of God.
Now, I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers. Not even close. But I will venture to say that most of this world’s issues can be traced back to the inability to love well. My challenge to you (and to myself) today is to not be a part of that statistic.
Even Jesus said that the way the world would recognize who we are and whose we are is by our L-O-V-E. He washed His disciples’ feet (modeling for them exactly what He meant) and then spoke of His own betrayal that was to come.
I am so struck by this unfolding – love well, sacrificially, even though they may not love you in return. And then He spoke right to the heart of the matter, just to be sure they didn’t miss it…
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
The way we love one another is what sets us apart and makes us vastly different.
So, let’s be different. Let’s love with the kind of love that changes lives.
Let’s love with the kind of love that makes a difference and a light in these dark times. Right now. Today.
Don’t miss the point – make the choice to love God with your whole heart and start loving your brothers and sisters with the same ferocity and passion. Just then, maybe just then, we might start changing the world.
Sound good? It does to me. Now let’s get started, shall we?
The song I want to share with you today is new from Jesus Culture, entitled, “Make Us One.” Great reminder and a great song. Be blessed – love well.
With joy for the journey,