stevengworld

When In Doubt, Love | May 10, 2018

There is no higher calling in the Christian life than the call to love. That may sound easy but it is enormously difficult within perspective. The norm for the Christian life is focused around self. God made ME in his image. Jesus died for ME on that cross. The Holy Spirit lives inside of ME to strengthen me. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens ME. And yet the Bible calls us to love.

The ten commandments begin reminding Israel of the love which Yahweh has for them that is displayed. Love on display is the only real love. Love soaked in words without action is empty, shapeless, void of being real. Yahweh rescued Israel from the horror that was living in Egypt and took them across the sea in a miraculous way. Therefore, have no others before ME. In other words, God called his covenant people to love him to the highest degree, even before self-love.

Jesus was on the scene teaching disciples making miracles happen fulfilling scripture, when he was approached by some ‘wise guys’ trying to test him. He told them the greatest commandment was to love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. In other words, Yahweh’s command still applies. It always will.

Then Jesus further clarified what the Old Testament stated in clear words and distinctive, ritualistic language: love your neighbor the way you love yourself. Here is yet another tier to the highest calling for the Christian life. It’s rather fascinating how we tend to miss this nuance.

Jesus gives us a prime example by offering a parable in Matthew 25:31-46. Those who are hungry or thirsty or homeless or naked or sick or imprisoned got treated some type of way. Those on the right will be the ones who put love on display towards image bearers in that predicament will be invited to inherit the kingdom. And those on the left will be invited to depart to the eternal fire reserved for the devil and his angels. He caps it off with these poignant words: “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it me.”

The way you treat people is the way you treat God. So when in doubt of how you’re treating people and if you get to pick and choose who to treat some exceptional way, love!

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