It is amazing what God will do to help someone “learn” something. Over the last few weeks, I have been hearing some verses repeated over and over.
It seems that I started it when I met someone for dinner and shared things would be much simpler if we just lived by the two commandments that Jesus gave in Matt 22:37-39: “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.”
I began to think on these verses and how my life would be impacted if I truly lived out these verses in my life. I strive to live out verse 37 every day and in every way. However, I am sure that I fail often in doing all that is asked in the verse.
But what about verse 39: love my neighbors as myself. What does this entail? How do I live out this verse!
Sunday, I was at International Baptist Church of Budapest and the pastor preached from John 13:21-38. Amongst this passage are these verses: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (vss 34-35)
The scripture says, “by this all people will know that you are my disciples…” Jesus was challenging his disciples, who were fishermen, tax collectors and others, that people in Israel would know that they were disciples of Christ by their love for one another!
Let me apply this to my context for today: I need to show love for my neighbors, for my friends, for my family because Jesus has loved me first. And a sign that I am His disciple is that I have love for one another.
It sounds so simple, but so difficult to enact. Who wants to “love the man going through the trash dumpster” or for the “woman with the baby sitting at the bottom of the steps every day begging”? Yet, these are the very ones Jesus has commanded me to love! Oh, how I wish I had that kind of love!
So, maybe the second commandment will become “easier” once I have learned the first one: to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Maybe that is where I need to focus my mind and my heart at the moment. To learn to love the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind. Then, as this becomes part of my life, the second commandment will become easier and I will truly love my neighbors.
I want people to know (and see) that I am a Jesus follower in more than just words, but by deeds and actions. I need to live out my faith and love for Jesus. Then, as scripture promises: by this all people will know…