We’re in a new series called “Foundations” which builds off of Jesus’ metaphor in Matt 7: “A house built on sand will never be able to stand BUT a house that’s built on the rock will never be able to fall.”
This week, we’re in Practice #7: Go Evangelize. On Sunday, our guest preacher Kyle Martin shared with us four steps to take when sharing the gospel with someone new: Love - Listen - Discern - Respond.
Today, let’s consider what LOVE looks like in the context of sharing the good news about Jesus, beginning with Matthew 22:36-40 (NET):
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
The first and greatest commandment has its origin in Deuteronomy 6, where Israel is instructed in the ways of their God Yahweh. The language of loving God with one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength is aimed at the idea of wholeheartedness. God wants our exclusive, all-in loyalty. To use a metaphor, God is to be the sun and his people are the planets that revolve around Him.
The second commandment shows us that while our our first priority is to center ourselves on God, the next priority is to love ourselves and others as image-bearers of God. This kind of love is not a feeling as much as it is a loyal intentionality to act kindly toward others.
“Love your neighbor.” This is so much easier said than done. Do we really love our neighbors - those people around us who bear God’s image just as we do? Those people around us who we like...or maybe don’t like? Those people who are easy to love...and hard to love?
The first step in sharing the good news about Jesus is loving people genuinely. Spend some time considering the people in your life. Make a list. Do you regularly and intentionally act in love toward them? How? How can you grow in this area? Ask God to give you one person that you can show the love of Jesus to in a tangible way today.
Published on 11-08-2021 @ 4:18 AM CDT