If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
I do my best to follow the example my parents set. One of my favorite things to do is go on mission trips. For UM ARMY, a group of our youth goes out into communities around Texas and helps make someone’s life better by building a ramp, painting a wall, and just listening to the wisdom these people have to share about life. We love these statewide neighbors through our actions, but even more so with the company that we share with them.
The other mission trip that I love participating in is focused more on spreading God’s word and love to those all across the United States. Celebration Singers Choir Tour has allowed me to love and talk with countless neighbors across the lower United States and to receive the love they have to share.
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
This post continues part 1 of our 3-part series based on Matthew 22:36-40:
loving God (part 1); loving your neighbor (part 2); and loving yourself (part 3).
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
Well, 1 John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the father is not in them.” The heart is the most powerful asset that a person owns, and I’m not talking about the big red blob pumping away in your chest – although that is important too – I’m talking about the ability to pass out affection. If all of your affection is being pumped into the world, where everything is rooted in the same soil as the first sin, then there is no room for our God, who forgives sin but will not tolerate the affection of it. Now don’t get me wrong, you can still love your significant other, or your mom and dad, or sister and brother, or son and daughter, but God comes before all – for he is the salvation of mankind.
How about the soul? How can someone love with their soul? Well, imagine an apple. It has its outer fruit and its inner core. An apple can look to be perfectly fine on the outside but have a rotting core. Likewise an apple can be bruised and cut on the outside but have a perfect core. The core of the apple is like your soul: it is the “true you.”
The soul has to do with your real personality, so to love God with all your soul you must follow in His footsteps by making godly choices, sacrificing for others, and pursuing obedience to His word. More than that, it is how you carry yourself. Just being nice to people is not enough in God’s eyes. Throw away your pride and be humbled by His goodness.
Finally, the mind. The human brain is the most useful organ in terms of survival; however it is the most susceptible to corruption and change. Think about it: Have you ever been waiting in a long line at a restaurant? Maybe you made up your mind about that chicken sandwich, but now that you’re staring at the menu, that bowl of baked potato soup looks good. But wait, what about the gravy fries? Well, this is a prime example of the detrimental aspect of the mind. So many things in this world jump out at us from different corners of vision that distort our way of thinking away from what we originally wanted.
My advice to you: Guard your mind with knowledge of His word, learn for yourself what God is saying by reading the Bible so that you may be able to tell the falsehoods of the world apart from the truths.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Though I think this is important, many other people don't feel the same way. They say we shouldn't love people who don't believe in God. We should pray for them but not love them. Well, my question is: What about the people who never learned about God or the people who have never had anyone to love them? Because if Jesus loved them, shouldn't we? Don't get me wrong, I think praying for these people is good, but I don’t think that is enough. Why shouldn't we love them?
Jesus himself taught us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” In fact, He said that “there is NO commandment greater” than this one (Mark 12:31, emphasis added). So people who aren't Christians or who sin all the time aren’t our neighbor? Because I think they are. And it is not our place to judge others for what they did wrong; we should love them instead. Jesus loved everyone. He is our main example to follow. Jesus loved the people that no one else did. He sat and ate with the prostitutes and tax collectors, who were literally the most hated people in town.
In 1 Peter, it says that our love has to be “unfailing” (1 Peter 4:8), or constant, for other people so that sin isn't an obstacle to seeing the best in them. I think if you want to see the best in people that means you must love them. Also, in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, Paul told the people that to be righteous, which means morally right, they had to have three things:
- Faith - putting all your trust in God and His Word
- Hope - to be the best person you can be to achieve ultimate salvation
- Love - unselfish love, like the way God loves us
But Paul specifically states that the most important one is love. Earlier in chapter 13, he goes into major detail on what love is and how one could achieve it (1 Corinthians 13:3-8; also mentioned in Romans 12:9-13).
If loving people wasn't so important, why would it be mentioned so many times in the Bible? So if this is what love demands of us, how are you living this out?
The 12:12 Project is sponsored by Katy First United Methodist Church.
Book Of Mark
Favorite Bible Verses
Fruits Of The Spirit
Gratitude & Generosity
Love In Action
Series On Matthew 22:36 40
Walking By Faith