by Chris Watkins - Student Minister
If you profess Jesus as Lord, the Word of God should be our guide for how to live life (and live it abundantly, John 10:10). Yet when we look at our lives, including our church life, we have a tendency to let the world’s me-centered lifestyle be the guide. If we are honest with ourselves, we have allowed for so many things to get in the way of truly living a life focused on Christ.
Let’s read Matthew 22:34-40,
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
In this passage we see that Jesus tells us the greatest commands in our life to follow is loving the Lord with ALL of our heart, soul and mind and then to also love others. If we go back to Exodus 20 we can read the 10 Commandments that the Lord provided to Moses for Israel. If you break down the 10 they all fall into the two greatest commandments that Jesus shared in Matthew 22. If we follow the commands to Love God with all that we are and we choose to love others, then we can meet the standard for these commands, and yet time and time again we fail.
Think back to this past week, how many of us have allowed for our attention to be on anything other than the Lord. Whether that be social media, football (this is OU v Texas week), technology, frustrations with government, extended family or friends drama that we are consumed by, etc. We allow for almost anything to jump up on our list of priorities and negate the ONE that we are called to Love and be surrendered to. Sometimes its not that other things take up real estate on our priorities, but we allow the cloud of business or tiredness step in the times that we should be in prayer or reading His Word.
Church family, those that profess to love the Lord and desire to live for Him, can we please return to the call on our lives to follow these two commandments from the Lord. I have found in multiple conversations inside and outside the church recently that this is a big need for us to be reminded of. We are in a day and age where we truly will show the world that we are set apart by the Lord if we just simply love others. This command does not necessarily mean you have to like everyone and that you have to submit to the way the world wants us to think. But it does call on us to LOVE God and LOVE others.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a says,
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”
How amazing would it be to come together each Wednesday and Sunday as a church family to worship the God we serve, knowing that each of us has chosen to live out loving God with ALL of our heart, soul and mind. Also, knowing that we have pursued loving everyone that we have been around that week. I truly believe in my whole heart that church would be a different place. We would have a desire to come in with joyful hearts, inviting others to a place where they can truly meet Jesus, and see that those that profess Him as Lord truly are not like the rest of the world. We have to make sure that the church is a hospital for the sick and in spiritual need, and not another country club that is about me, myself, and I. Let’s serve the Lord with everything we’ve got because He is worthy of it all!