Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your
mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We are about to enter the month of LOVE and our devotional will be reflective of that special February word. The difference between the message of Valentine’s Day and our devotional, as well as our preaching series, is the focal point of the LOVE. Whereas February and St. Valentine’s Day are focused on the LOVE we have for a special person in
our life, our focus at church will be on our LOVE of God and of our neighbor.
When asked what the most important commandment is, Jesus doesn’t name one of the 10 Commandments, but refers to that which is repeated in all of Judaism every morning and every night. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as
yourself.’” (Mark 12:30-31a) We are to respond to God and to others with deep love, affection, and action.
God has shown such love for us that when we finally get it deep in the center of our being we are moved to respond. When our eyes begin to see what we didn’t see before our hearts are called on to reach out to others. Our love is a responsive love and reflective of 1 John 4:19, “We love because he first loved us.”
A story was told by a group who tried to visit the lepers at least once a month, when they gathered out on the grass, and we went over what they had learned and sought to make clear the way of salvation by the use of Gospel posters. Sometimes they asked the lepers questions, to see if they really understood what they were learning. One of them remembered once asking the question, “Just how do you know that the Lord Jesus loves you?” Thinking the posters they shared would make a difference in the lives of the lepers.
The answer they heard was, “Because of you.” It wasn’t about the posters they shared, or even the way they told the stories from the Bible, but their hearts were truly touched as they realized it was their time, words and most of all their actions that the message of Jesus love. They had the privilege of being the instruments of Jesus sent to carry the glad tidings to such as these poor lepers.
We know of God’s love because of Jesus’ actions and his death on the cross. Others know of God’s love for them because of our actions.
Over this next month I encourage you to walk through the Devotional on Upcycling God’s Love and participating with us at church, either in person or on line as we make a deep attempt to become more and more the people God desires us to be. We will break down what it means to love God and others deeply. We are to be responders.