Loving God and your neighbor….. part
Don’t buy God a vacuum sweeper!
The general public seems to have a predisposition or mindset of what belief in God is all about. There is going to the church and being “good”, and then there is? What exactly does the life of a follower of YHVH (his proper name in Hebrew) look like? Is it replete with habits and traditions? Is it a life of reclusive piety? What do we do?
According to Webster’s Dictionary, a Christian is “one who follows Jesus Christ and His teachings”; and a church, “being a building where the religious service is held”. But the initial question goes a bit deeper than these elementary definitions.
Is it just a matter of accepting the free gift of the grace of Jesus Christ and then continue on? Or is there something deeper and far more significant to this belief of Jesus being our Savior and future Redeemer of our Faith?
The people who were blessed by the physical presence of Jesus asked this same question of the Teacher in Matthew 22: 34-40 “when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 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. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Here is where we have to ask ourselves a very deep and honest question: Do I know how to love YHVH? Many would say the church answers this question. Let me provide for you an illustration drawn from my own life. I had been married for about 7 or 8 years and in that time I had visited my wife’s paternal grandmother on a few occasions.
While visiting, it had dawned on me that I had never seen fresh cut or potted flowers in her home only the plastic version. This is not generally too odd for a person nearing 90 as there is much maintenance involved in keeping some varieties. On this visit, being very near the Mother’s Day celebration I decided to express my love via 2 dozen fresh cut long stem red roses.
Another unique part of nearing 90, speaking one’s mind with firmness and authority has had its time to become a trademark and not a pastime. I was told politely of her gratitude for the gesture, but, get them out of the house immediately. The part I failed to recognize was her hyper sensitive olfactory, or what the southern folk call “havin sinuses”.
Another example; early on in our relationship I gave my wife a vacuum sweeper as a gift. As all the women reading this shout “moron” and the guys silently admit “been there done that”. The point is not about buying things, it is about knowing the way to express love to the person whereby they want to be loved. The way or method I wanted to express my love towards them and their preferred method of expression differed greatly. Expressing love to Father God is no different, He tells us how and when to express our love back to Him.
We can find the way to Gods heart in His instructions to us the Bible.
Deuteronomy 11:1 “Therefore thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, always.”
John 15:10 “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”