Friday, November 20, 2015

If we believe . . .

When the battles of this world rage, when my heart is torn in two, I go to my Bible for answers, to recalibrate my perspective. God's perspective is the only truth that matters. It is the only truth that lasts. It is the only truth that's true.

And this is what it says to me. . . .

If we believe, our first commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37-38).

If we believe, our second commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39-40). As ourselves. Homes. Food. Manicures. Dessert.

If we believe, our "neighbor" is not dependent on race or country of origin (Luke 10:25-37). And it is no coincidence that He uses a priest and a Levite--'religious people'--to contrast the Good Samaritan.

If we believe, our ultimate concern is not our comfort or our earthly safety; we are happy to suffer as Christ suffered (1 Peter 4:13).

If we believe, "to live is Christ and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21).

If we believe, we don't make decisions based in fear (2 Timothy 1:7).

And as Christ did, we choose love over fear.

In fact, if we believe, our fear is cast out by "perfect love" (1 John 4:18).

And if we believe, we love simply because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

If we believe . . . even if we do not . . . there are three things that remain forever, well beyond the existence of this world.

These three are faith . . . and hope . . . and love.

"And the greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 13:13).

So whatever you do today, whatever you proclaim, do it in love. Just love.

Because no matter how faithful, how wise, or how generous we are, without love, we are nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

"The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love" (1 John 4:8).

Love them. Love them all. Love the world. (John 3:16)