"'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.' And, 'Love your neighbor as yourself'" (Luke 10:27 NLT).
Christianity is at a crossroad. Some people are repelled by it while others are willing to give up their lives to follow Christ. In many instances, it may look like we’re on our back foot but the Bible assures us that His government and peace will have unlimited growth.
For centuries, Christians, leaders, and churches have tried to invent and reinvent the message of Christ. There’s nothing wrong discovering and growing in the knowledge of our infinite God; however, Jesus, the founder of our faith, gave us two basic commands.
The essence of Christianity is to love God and love people.
Recently, I was visiting my brother’s family. They were returning from a worship concert when they stopped at a red light, a homeless man approached them. When they gave him a leather bag filled with medicine, toothbrush, cash, food, tracts, stationary, T-shirt, flashlight, and other basic necessities; the homeless man was dumbfounded. The first words that came out of his mouth were, “What the hell is that?” He couldn’t believe the kindness of total strangers!
I believe this is where Christianity is losing its flavor. We’ve become too private, intellectual, cynical, and judgmental of each other. People have taken advantage of us, so now we’re filtering our responses through our past experiences. This is not the best reflection of our faith.
Here’s the key: if you love God you will love people and vice versa!
In the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10), Jesus spoke about a wounded man who was bypassed by a priest and a Levite. Their reasoning may have been along the lines of he’s not part of our church, culture or faith therefore; he doesn’t qualify for our help. What if God treated us according to His high standards? Jesus crossed every creed, color, social, racial, and cultural barriers to reach people and so should we as His disciples.
Jesus taught us to love people – ALL people. It’s easier said than done but when this is our intent, the love of God has the power to transform society.
Recently, a 22-year-old Egyptian Christian woman lived out her faith in deed. Her former husband (from another faith) divorced her. After several years, she got married to a young Christian man and they had two beautiful children together. She was pregnant with their third when they decided to visit their former church to fellowship with other believers. In the city, they’re spotted by her former family members. They kidnapped her and pressed her to renounce her faith. When she refused to deny Christ, her own sister beheaded her in order to “teach a lesson” to other women who chose to follow Christianity. What would be our response in such situation?
God forbid that we have to face such brutal fate. However, there are million little ways we can impact others with the love of Christ. The scripture says, “The goodness of God leads people to repentance” (Romans 2:4).
Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
A couple of months ago, my friend was driving home in her pickup truck when she saw a bunch of men working under the scorching sun. She was moved with compassion but didn’t have any water in her truck. She went home and brought back ice-cold water for the men working on the street. She didn’t have to preach that day because she was the Gospel.
Our action towards our fellow men is a direct reflection of our love for God.
Friend, if we want to encounter God in supernatural ways, it’s not good enough to dress in our Sunday best, clap our hands, and sing, “I love you Lord.” We have to live intentionally and love the crying, sighing, and dying people God brings on our path. Loving God means to reflect the same love Jesus showed us. When we unite in loving people, we’ll see a new move of the Holy Spirit sweeping through our nation like never before. Let us love God and Love people!
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