Sunday Scripture

This is My command:  Love each other. (John 15:17 NLT)

“The most important commandment is this:  ‘Listen – O Israel !  The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31 NLT)

Live a life filled with love – following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us – a pleasing aroma to God. (Ephesians 5:2 NLT)

Christ loved us so much that He took away the punishment that we so deserved by dying for us on the cross. That sacrifice alone obligates us to love everyone. It’s his top two commandments, but they are not independent of each other. They are really one integrated commandment:  Love Him / Love others.

There was not much love in my family growing up, and even once I grew up and was on my own there was not much love in me. I didn’t know what love was. I thought I did, but I didn’t. My heart, soul, mind, and strength was warped by the world and blinded by the enemy. It wasn’t until salvation began 14 summers ago that I began to discover love. I learned what love is by turning away from the world – and turning towards our loving God. I finally realized that I am capable of truly loving others.

“If the world hates you – remember that it hated Me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. (John 15:18-19 NLT)

It’s so easy to say and do what our family, our friends, our neighbors, our coworkers, complete strangers, Internet, Radio, TV, and Movie stars, politicians, and other leaders are saying and doing. Believing and following and blending in with the world around us is simple. It’s automatic. You can do that without even trying.

But obeying Christ can be difficult at times. It can even seem impossible. Personally it’s harder than anything I’ve ever experienced before Christ. But with Christ all things are possible, and the results are surely worth it !  The results are based on a life and death decision. I choose to follow God Almighty – Lord of Glory – rather than the physical world. The world has let me down over and over again. God has never ever let me down. He never will.

There are people in our world – within eyesight – within hearing range – within our immediate circle – and in this world overall – that just don’t like us anymore – because we’ve publicly accepted our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into our lives. They just don’t want to have anything to do with us anymore. They don’t want to associate with the loonies – the nutcases – the radicals – the extremists – that we’ve been labeled as believers and followers of Christ. Those are just some of the milder labels that the world has given us in its hate. You and I and my closest brothers and sisters on this journey have been called all of these words (and much worse). We’ve been placed in a box or a basket – perhaps even a basket of deplorables. That’s fine. Christ loves us always and forever, and that’s all we need. All we need to do is to just keep on loving and praying for everyone in the whole wide world.

I urge you – first of all – to pray for all people. Ask God to help them, intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.  (1 Timothy 2:1 NLT)

Pray for all people – not some people – not just the believers and followers – not just our family and friends – not just the people that look like us. Pray for all people, as all people are God’s children.

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

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