Take a look and see what these two Bible verses have in common…
Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
Matthew 22:37-39 “And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Both of these verses define what God wants of us. In Matthew, Jesus goes on to say that this sums up all that God gave us in the law (the Ten Commandments) and through His prophets.
If I mash these two verses together, I determine that the purpose of my life is to:
- Worship Him with all that I am and all that I have
- Care about the other people that He put on this earth with me
What motivates me to care about either of those things?
At first, I was motivated to dedicate my life to God, and to do as He asks, out of sheer gratitude. I was, and am, grateful for what God has done in my life and the lives of those around me. I know that God has saved, healed and delivered me from…
- the aftereffects of a difficult childhood
- a life of pursuing all the wrong things –wealth, power, pleasure, self-indulgence
He has healed my body, my marriage, and my relationships. He has heard and acted upon my prayers for my children, my purpose and my future.
These are just the things that I know of. I am certain there are hundreds of unknowns that He has protected me from. He is my Protector, Confidante, Guide and Savior. He is my Father and I am His daughter.
I am grateful. Therefore, I worship Him the best that I know how.
My gratitude grows within each day, week, month and year. I would do anything God asked of me. And He asks me to love His other sons and daughters…every one of them. That’s a little harder. Have you met people? 😉
Love others as myself? That changes things. That means I should care for people I know and those that I encounter. I should help them when I can. I should definitely tell them about the only One who can be their everything.
I realize a direct relationship between my level of gratitude for what I have been saved from and my desire to share with others. It causes me to shift from self-focused to other-focused. I am healthier and happier and in the will of God when I shift my attention off of myself. I position myself to say, “Whatever you want, Lord.”
Even so, this is not an easy undertaking. There are thousands of ways to love on people. There are several ways to share the love of Jesus with people.
- Direct – Simply tell people whenever you can about Jesus’ love for every one of us.
- Testimonial – Tell others what the Lord has done for you or how your life is different before and after Jesus.
- Relational – Do life with people and let your transformed life be a witness to our transforming God.
- Service – Serve others selflessly and when they ask why, tell them it’s because God wants us to love one another as He loves us.
- Invitational – Invite someone to church to be around others who love God and perhaps encounter Him there.
Sound scary? When I face scary things, I imagine the worst thing that could happen. In this situation, the worst thing that could happen is someone would tell me they are not interested. Hmmm. That’s not so bad.
And, remember, we’re not alone in this.
- God gives us His Word (the Bible) to speak truth.
- He gives us His people (other Christians) to teach us and encourage us.
- He gives us His Holy Spirit to guide us and to do the heavy lifting.
We don’t do the transforming; God does. I’m not the Holy Spirit; He is. But He sure invites me to have a front row seat to see how He is moving in the lives of others. He allows me to partner with Him in growing His kingdom.
What has Jesus saved you from? Are you living a grateful life? He simply asks that we love Him and love others. Do that.
Sylvia Gaston is Connections Pastor at Koinonia Church in Hanford, CA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 559-582-1528.