This past Sunday, Pastor Max started his message by reminding us of Jesus' interaction with the Pharisees, who were the experts on Judaic law. They were challenging Jesus on many topics. One of them, a lawyer, asked him: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
Matthew 22:36 NKJV
This was Jesus' response: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.””
Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV
Jesus clearly states that loving God is the greatest commandment. The one that follows is the second most important, to love others as yourself. Did you catch that? If we don't fully love who we are, how can we love others?
Do you love yourself?
Part of loving yourself is understanding who you are. We must know that we are loved by God, and that this love can't be earned, no matter how many good works we do. It's a love that is fully given to us. Jesus showed His love by giving up His life. Sometimes it's hard to fully comprehend this unconditional love or to even accept it. It takes faith to receive it and abide in it.
Love yourself! So you can fulfill the greatest commandment.
Are you too hard on yourself? Are there things in your past you wish you could change? Don't dwell on them!Forgive yourself and ask God to forgive you for putting yourself down. Be your biggest encourager, not your biggest critic. Ignore the negative thoughts in your head and combat them with what God says about you.
Knowing our value in God's eyes and fully receiving His love will allow us to value who we are, and in turn love others. Be the best version of yourself so you can pour into others.
How do we love others?
1 John 3:16-18 speaks of the manifestation of love for others:“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
Love is shown through actions. Encouraging words, sharing a meal. Offering help. Each of us has a lot to offer and the church can be a great place to share our love with others.
But not only the church. The world needs it right now. Carry the love so you can be a solution where you are, at your school, your place of work, your community. Jesus said He is the light of the world and because He abides in us we are the light. Let us truly show that.
Life becomes fun! God can use us today to love someone else.
- Carolina Gomez