Epitaph

This morning, I’m reminded that my love for you is my love for the Lord.

Not my studying and digesting and understanding and teaching the Word of God like a good theologian.

Not my defending the Word of God through debate and reason like a good apologist.

Not my singing and praising with voice and instrument like a good worshiper.

Not my touching and healing or casting out evil spirits by the Word of God like a good healer.

Not my speaking prayers with the tongues of angels and tears and pains of heartfelt concern for the needs of others like a good intercessor.

Not my revealing God’s will and bringing a timely and convicting message to the people of God like a good prophet.

Not my delivering the Roman road gospel explanation and offering an altar call for response and baptizing many in the name of the Lord like a good evangelist.

Not my feeding and providing for the needs of others like a good philanthropist.

These things alone can become tasks, checklists, routines, practices — dead religion and self- righteous hypocrisy.

But love.

Love makes all the difference.

I love you.

He loves you.

In all the things we will do today, we will show others how much we love them:

  • By our respect or our disrespect
  • By our presence or our absence
  • By our gentleness or our harshness
  • By our selflessness or our demands
  • By our patience or our impatience
  • By our joy or our anxiousness
  • By our forgiveness or our bitterness
  • By our making peace or our opposition
  • By our self-control or our attempts to control others

And the world is in desperate need of love. People are even turning their backs in droves from “the usual religious places” because they are not finding love there — they are looking for Jesus — and are understandably doubtful that He is there amongst all this activity and practice, but where there is so little love.

So let us set our sights on living others, Christian, beloved of God — because they truly are beloved by God. Ands out is our job to show that love to them in the language and manner they can see and understand is real.

Go love greatly! Because we are greatly loved!

Amen.

The story of Mary and Martha immediately following the golden rule in Luke 10 is not by coincidence:

And he replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart , and with all your soul , and with all your strength , and with all your mind ; and your neighbor as yourself .” Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this habitually and you will live .” But he, wishing to justify and vindicate himself, asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he encountered robbers, who stripped him of his clothes [and belongings], beat him, and went their way [unconcerned], leaving him half dead. Now by coincidence a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also came down to the place and saw him, and passed by on the other side [of the road]. But a Samaritan (foreigner), who was traveling, came upon him; and when he saw him, he was deeply moved with compassion [for him], and went to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them [to sooth and disinfect the injuries]; and he put him on his own pack-animal, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii (two days’ wages) and gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I return.’ Which of these three do you think proved himself a neighbor to the man who encountered the robbers?” He answered, “The one who showed compassion and mercy to him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and constantly do the same.” Now while they were on their way, Jesus entered a village [called Bethany], and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was continually listening to His teaching. But Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities; and she approached Him and said, “Lord, is it of no concern to You that my sister has left me to do the serving alone? Tell her to help me and do her part.” But the Lord replied to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:27‭-‬42 AMP

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