For the Love...
If we showed others who Jesus truly is, was, and always will be—then why wouldn’t they want to follow Him? But we allow our own self to come through more than we allow Him to come through. And truth be told, in order to show others about Him, we must first fully accept all that He Is. And, yet, we don’t. We put Him in that box, and only allow Him out when it benefits us.
Let’s go ahead and allow ourselves to be ‘selfish’ for a moment. Let’s pretend that this whole ‘Christian’ thing is about making ‘us’ better people, ensuring us a place in Heaven (because you know in part, it is). We want to be a ‘good’ ‘Christian’—to make Abba happy. We want to please Him. We want to hear ‘well done, my good and faithful servant’ (Matthew 25:23). We want to scoff at those not as ‘good’ as us (you know we do). But we tend to forget that in order to be the ‘good’ ‘Christian’—if even putting on our front—we have to do His works (James 2:14-26). We can’t appear to be so ‘good’ when we aren’t serving, giving, loving…even if it is for show. And truthfully, it’s exhausting to do such ‘good’. So why put forth the wasted effort? (‘Wasted’ because God knows your heart and that you didn’t really mean it. And chances are—anyone ‘here’ won’t really notice anyway, or at the very least will quickly forget the ‘good’ when you fail (and you will fail, because you’re not really trying))…(are you still following me?) So, again—why put forth the effort to be fake? (Oh—how many times I thought that in high school…but I digress…). Quit being fake. Quit pretending. Quit acting. Quit being hypocrites. You’re not doing yourself, anyone else, and most importantly God, any good with your act. So, don’t bother.
Let’s make the decision now to quit denying our denial (and we are in denial if we really think any of our falsities are helping, even in the least). When we supposedly decided to follow Christ (‘supposedly’ because if your heart isn’t truly in it, you’re not truly in ‘Christianity’). “When we decided to follow Jesus, life stopped being about us; …God doesn’t simply become first in our life, He becomes our life. It’s a concept that made Peter stop fishing and Paul stop persecuting.” (Branded, Bearing the Marks of Jesus, Ben Wright)
The Bible clearly states that God is Love (1 John 4:7-8). If we don’t love, it is impossible to know God because God is love. And if we don’t know God, we don’t have love. And if we don’t have love, then what are we even doing?!?! (1 Corinthians 13:1-3): translation: I am nothing and having nothing without love (aka God).
Jesus’ self-proclaimed greatest commandments: Matthew 22:37-39. Love God, then love others. (notice how He didn’t say ‘Love God, love you’?) So, let go of yourself, and embrace God. Love. Love God, Love Others (John 13:34-35).
This life, the one we’re living here and now on this Earth, is not about us. We are so worried about us it’s exhausting. We only worry about our eternity (if it’s eternity we’re even thinking about) (more likely it’s to do enough to get by to barely skate into Heaven and escape the fiery pit…). What about the other people of this world? What about God? Start with just Matthew 22:37: LOVE GOD. Because let’s face it, when we get that part right, I mean truly, honest-to-goodness-can’t-wait-to-get-up-in-the-morning-and-praise-Him-and-fall-asleep-at-night-thanking-Him loving Him, then the rest will fall into place. When you start realizing that every little thing you have is because of Him, and that you are nothing without Him, then you’ll start seeking Him more—to draw Him closer to you. And He wants nothing more than a relationship with you. A true fellowship together. So, when you finally get there, the rest follows. When you empty yourself of you, and fill yourself with Him, you’ll start doing more and being more of His Disciple. Because you are filled with Christ, you will begin to act more Christ-like (you will never be perfect like Him, but don’t ever quit striving for it). And the attitude, deeds, servitude, love will flow from you like it did from Him. You’ll begin to love others—really, truly, honest-to-goodness-want-to-sacrifice-yourself-for-the-sake-of-someone-else love them.
This life—your life—isn’t about you; what God can do for you, what God can give you, how God can bless you. This life is about living for God; what you can do for Him, what you can give Him, how you can bless Him. Everything we do on this Earth matters; to and for the Lord. Make it count. If you’re not out there daily trying to win people for Christ, and teach His Gospel—what ARE you doing? God has so much planned for us; here and now; there and then.
Why was Christ’s ’greatest commandment’(Matthew 22:37-39)? Because (1 John 4:7-12).