Focus 40 Day 19: Extreme Living—Love Isn’t Love Until You Give It Away
Prayer Focus: Pray to thank God for the diversity in your church – Gal. 3:27-28
Extreme Living—Love Isn’t Love Until You Give It Away
“‘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.’”
—Matthew 22:36–40 (NIV)
YOU CAN SAY YOU LOVE, but your actions will tell the true story. Isn’t it interesting that when Jesus boiled the law and the prophets into two commandments, they both talked about love? And the truth about love is that it must have an object. We need others. We are kidding ourselves if we think we can do better on our own. We were designed for relationship to connect with God and man.
I pastor a church in Olathe, Kansas, named the Indian Creek Community Church. We wanted to make it easy for people to understand what it means to be a disciple. We took the Great Commandments and the Great Commission and combined them into a motto that describes the lifestyle of Jesus. We love God, we love people, and we live out. It isn’t linear. Each serves the other, and as one grows they all grow, because they are interconnected.
As a pastor, I find that some in our congregation are more naturally wired to be vertical in their love life. They love God, but they don’t necessarily feel what their Father feels about the rest of the human family. Others prefer to love someone with skin on. They find it easier to relate to people on a horizontal level than be alone with God. Still others love to serve. They could take or leave the worship and messages, but give them a cause that meets a human need in the name of Jesus and they believe it is worship to serve. I’m glad we are not the same, because we are richer and deeper in our diversity. But there is one thing that is obviously non-optional: it is God’s command to connect with him and others through love.
Holy Spirit of God, give me the strength to love God, love people, and live out the love of Jesus so I will grow to be more and more the person you want me to be. Amen.
Rev. Gary Kendall, Pastor