Wednesday, March 26, 2014
But I'm not the only one.
I will always be a dreamer with fire in my eyes and a passion in my heart - a heart that bleeds for people. Sometimes it feels far more like a curse than the gift that it was created to be. And today my heart bleeds and aches because it seems like so many people are hurting. I am so ashamed to admit that many people are hurting at the hands of Jesus followers. This confuses me. I thought we were the ones to bring Good News? I thought we were to bring peace, grace, mercy, and LOVE?
Many, many years ago when Jesus walked this earth, incarnated into our lives, and demonstrated exactly how we should live, He had a fascinating conversation with a Pharisee. (A religious, pompous, hypocritical legalistic leader of His day - hard to imagine anyone like this, huh? ahem.) The Pharisee was trying to trip Jesus up with a question. The answer Jesus gave sums up all of life for a Jesus follower - every single thing hangs on this answer. Everything. Everything we believe, how we act, what we say, how we live. Every. single. thing. The question was brief and housed in trickery and mockery, Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Matthew 22:36
Jesus' answer was simple.
'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. Matthew 22:37-40
Everything springs out of this. That's it. If we continually go back to these two things, and let love for God and for all people dictate the way we live out this one life, then we are serving God exactly the way Jesus expects us to serve Him, and we are living our lives in obedience to Jesus.
The Pharisees were extremely proud in their religiosity and morality. They held strictly to the religious laws and rules. They made rules for their rules in order to avoid any possibility of breaking them. But inside the rules, the legalism, the piety, the pointing fingers, they lost sight of the plank in their own eyes - they lost sight of their call to love, and even sadder is the fact that they lost sight of Who they love.
Our heart is central - we are to focus on loving God with a love that stems from our heart - everything we have and are - with our entire being. We should be so wrapped up in love and adoration for our God, that it is outrageously noticeable to everyone around us. When we do that, we are freed to love people with that same crazy kind of love that makes people question how and why and where this love is from. It can't help but point to our Jesus. Every time one of my four children disobeys, or needs some redirection, we talk through the two greatest commandments, because seriously everything, everything goes back to these. Try it. Try living out these two commands, and notice how it impacts all of life.
I am dreaming of a world where Jesus followers are known by a great big love that points to our great, big God. I am dreaming of a world where Jesus followers follow Jesus in His example of loving people - all people - the misfits, outcasts, outlaws, sinners, the sick, the lonely, the imperfect, the invisible. I am dreaming of a world where we are known by our love. (John 13:35)
It sounds a lot like the Kingdom that Jesus was constantly talking about. A Kingdom filled with love. Can you imagine? I'm going to keep dreaming.
Please tell me I'm not the only one.