Posts Tagged ‘1 John’
I was just thinking about the Twelve Commandments or is it maybe thirteen. You do remember Jesus telling us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves? Of course those would be eleven and twelve but where is thirteen? Well let’s look in John 15:12 where Jesus tells us “This is my commandment: that you love one another as I have loved you!” You may be thinking that they all say we should love each other and that loving God and loving our neighbor are actually a part of the original Ten. I would say that Jesus made sure that we knew the original Ten were essential and if we were not following His love commandments we would not be using the glue that holds them all together. Remember from Mark:
Mar 12:29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, Mar 12:30 and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ Mar 12:31 The second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
So love would be essential to all that we do and who we are as Christians and is punctuated in John 15:12 with “love one another as I have loved you.” He is telling His disciples that love is what will hold His Church together. Can you see now how important love is to our Christian beliefs? Can you also see how divided the Christian church is? Do you think that love is left out of the equation in the differences we have in our denominations and the teachings that divide us? Yes, I think there is much hatred and bigotry “exclusiveness” in some ”Christian” churches today because they pick and choose scripture that suits their own priorities. They then make those scripture primary over the “thirteen commandments.”
Jesus tells us that if love is not in the equation then it is not of Him. Jesus was very wise in His teachings and I sometimes wonder why Christian churches don’t listen to Him. Love your neighbor as yourself! That means you cannot pick and choose by color of skin, ethnicity, language spoken, denomination, immersion or sprinkling or affluency. Just love your neighbor!
Our Bible Study time each week for the past 7 weeks has been centered around the book “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn. Dr. Alcorn does a wonderful job of reaching into the Bible and gleaning scriptures that refer to Heaven. This week we took up another book called “90 Minutes in Heaven” by Don Piper. I recommend either of these books as a very rewarding and inspirational read. In each of these books I am reminded that there is a very great reward that none of us living today deserve so let’s give thanks for our belief in Jesus Christ. It is just that belief that gets us that reward and there is nothing else required of us.
When I think about this gift God has given us it turns my heart towards the loving relationship that He desires us to have with Him. He loves us no matter what we do and that love poured out upon everyone on this earth helps me to think about returning that love to Him. Not because it is required but because when I think about Him my heart is warmed and His love is reflected in me and from me. When am I reflecting that love? When I am visiting those who are homebound! When I am smiling at those whom I meet each day! When I am helping someone in need! When I am doing the things that reflect God’s love for His world. I have to look at all of these things not as things I do but as God’s love for us being poured out from me as a willing vessel.
You see I truly believe that if you love someone you do things for them because you love them. God loves us and has done and is doing for us just because He loves us. Our response to that love should be that we show our love for Him by being His willing vessels that pour His love out on the world.
Smile at someone today! Better yet smile at everyone today! Smile because you know God loves you and because you know you love God! It is a marriage made in Heaven!