This week I often thought of topics to write about. Each topic is big enough in its own way that justifies its concentrated writing effort. Some of these topics included predetermination, predestination, LGBTQ, free will, salvation, etc. But no matter how much I thought about these topics and processed them, I kept coming back to one central idea. That idea was about loving others regardless of where they stand regarding certain doctrines and ideas.
I’m not someone who claims to have it right all the time. My pursuit for truth has taken me down paths that have either strengthen certain positions I hold to or caused me to change my position. Regardless, the pursuit for truth and the understanding of God has made me better little by little every day.
In my pursuit of a greater understanding of God and certain issues, I still stood firm in what I believed to be true until God revealed something different. Scripture is my authority. God is my compass of truth. It’s how I base what I believe and how to live my beliefs out.
I realize the Bible doesn’t answer every possible question we may have as Christians. And that’s a struggle for many of us who just want the answer right now. But God in His wisdom allows us to search and search for answers to some sensitive topics or doctrinal stances. I don’t in any way think that’s bad. Growth comes from this. Having questions is okay. The problem lies when we just take what others say without us researching things for ourselves. A great quote from Ben Franklin comes to mind “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.
As Christians we should test everything (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Testing everything will prepare us to help others see God. It will help us live according to God’s will. It will separate us from the crowd and make us grow in our faith.
If you ask me where I stand on certain popular issues of today, I’ll gladly tell you. But before I even get to that point, my prayer is that I learn more and more to love God first. To put Him first so that I can truly love my neighbor. Displaying love to others doesn’t mean that I must celebrate their sin or validate their position, just as I wouldn’t want others to celebrate my sins, shortcomings, or believe what I believe simply because they don’t want to offend me.
My question to you is this. Are we really loving God with all our hearts mind and soul? Do we crave to know Him more instead of simply knowing of Him? Are we showing the world what it’s like to be in relationship with our creator? Our greatest commandment is to love God. How do we do this? Like any relationship, you open yourself up to others. God opened Himself to us in the scriptures. We can learn about His character. What He likes and dislikes. We learn what He did and why He did it.
As we move forward in life and as questions or concerns arise, I encourage you brothers and sisters in Christ that before we argue, confront, or simply pass final judgment on others, to look at our hearts and analyze how we’re treating others. Are we trying to understand others? Are we sharing the Gospel out of love? In our actions, are we loving God and our neighbor’s? I’ll say this again…. We don’t have to agree with everyone to love one another. In fact, like Ravi Zacharias often mentions, we don’t have to be in uniform but should be united in Christ.
Let’s discuss topics. Let’s debate issues. Let’s test teachings. But more importantly, let’s love God first. He will guide us and help us grow as we mature in our faith. He will be present in every action of our lives. Let’s start there because He is our Truth!
Matthew 22:37-40 English Standard Version (ESV)
37 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. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Deuteronomy 6:4-7 English Standard Version (ESV)
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Luke 10:27 English Standard Version (ESV)
27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
Mark 12:30-31 English Standard Version (ESV)
30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
#LoveGod #LoveJesus #LoveOthers #RespectOthers #TeachOthers #GiveYourWitness