A phrase made famous by so many over the years was uttered by Christ nearly 2,000 years ago.
John 14:15 (MSG) says: If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you.
It isn’t enough in this day and age to just say something, you must put actions to your words. It’s been said, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. If that is true, then an action is worth a billion. We live in a period of time in the Christian church with more words than walk. We formulate manipulative phrases to sound holy or godly. We have a church on every street corner and we fulfill our weekly obligations. But what would happen if we heeded Jesus’ words? What if we proved our love for Him by actually obeying His commands? Do we really know what Jesus’ commands are?
LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART, MIND and STRENGTH (Lk 10:27): What does this look like? In a society that is full of words, we easily overlook the most important word in this scripture: ALL. This means in good times, in bad times, in trying times, in sweet times and in bitter times we are to give it all to Him. Not half-heartedly. Not with double-mindedness. Without loopholes or division. Our mind, free of worry and fear must be completely His. All of our strength–with all that is within us!
LOVE OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE YOURSELF BE LOVED (Mt 22:39): No man hates his own flesh (Eph 5:29). You wouldn’t want to be treated poorly, talked about or disregarded, why treat others in such a way? We excuse our actions with justification based on other’s character, not realizing that God isn’t comparing us to others… He is comparing us to His word. He wants us to line up.
SERVE EACH OTHER AS CHRIST SERVED THE CHURCH (Mt 20:28): The Son of Man came to serve, not to be served. It has been said that in order to obtain joy we must view its spelling as directive: JOY = love JESUS, OTHERS, YOURSELF – in that order. If you aren’t serving in some capacity, you are only doing half of what God called you to do. We have a ton of spiritually overweight Christians out there because we come to church week-in and week-out and eat and get fed, but we never pour out! Find the place in the local church God has called you to serve. You won’t regret it.
LOVE THE CHURCH (Eph 5:25): Gossip, slander, hatred, bitterness, resentment and the sowing of discord is rampant in the church body. Why do we allow it? Why do we entertain these words? The church of America has sorely mistaken and confused love and tolerance. We ARE to love. Tolerance in the church has opened the door to non-believers to be able to call us hypocrites and liars. It’s true, the church is for the hurting and the sinner. But where are all the saints? Where is the discipleship? We can’t forfeit love for the sake of tolerance. Love would say, “You are welcome to come as you are, but we love you too much to let you leave the same way”.
Paul taught us to kick people out of the church when they are unwilling and uncooperative. When was the last time you saw a church member exiled for behavior that is unfitting for the bride of Christ? The reality is there are gob-loads of sheep and not enough shepherds. There are more Timothys then there are Pauls.
Talk is cheap, let’s start doing what Jesus asked us to do in the book of Matthew; Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. Better yet: Make disciple makers. It’s not just enough to teach people about Jesus. A true disciple makes other disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples. Are you mentoring anyone? Are you being mentored?