Recently, we completed a series called the Art of Neighboring. I’m often humbled and impressed with how the Lord guides me through His Word. But this series, I believe was exceptionally important.
Recently and often, I hear people try to compress Jesus’ ministry to one word: Love. They’ll say, “Jesus was all about love and he said we should love; that’s all.” Fascinatingly and famously, Jesus himself was asked to sum up all of His teaching (which remains valid and valuable) to one command and he said, “Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. AND… Love your neighbor as yourself.”
They asked him for one thing and he gave them that. This is why it’s called the Great Commandment.
I believe that this two-sided commandment (if you’re doing one, you’d be doing the other) shouldn’t be edited any further. Instead, it should be honored, studied and obeyed.
How do we live our our faith in a way that fulfills the Great Commandment? I think we should at least have a plan.
And what about the Great Commission—that ordination that Jesus gave to His disciples? A Commission isn’t much different from a commandment. A commission is a purpose statement. It says in effect, “This is what you’ve been made to do.”
If we say that we follow Christ and are His disciple then the Great Commission is something that we shouldn’t/can’t just ignore. We’ve been brought to faith and poured in by the Holy Spirit for a reason; for a purpose. To go out into the world and duplicate; in other words, make (more) disciples.
How can we live out our faith in a way that fulfills the Great Commission? Again, I think we should have a plan.
The Art of Neighboring series I taught offered a 5-step process to fulfilling the Great Commandment in such a way that it would give us more opportunities to participate in the Great Commission. Five simple steps create a plan that helps us obey the Great Commandment and have more opportunities to participate in the Great Commission.
This series was born out of a combination of studying the Word (especially the parable of the good Samaritan), reflection on personal stories and inspiration in the Spirit.
Because, when it all comes down to it; when we’re face to face with Jesus and our life story is reviewed (which it will be) and we testify that Jesus is our Lord (aka boss, master) and Savior, we want to be confident that our lives reflected our belief.
I just worry that “Sorry, I didn’t know how!” will be a sufficient enough excuse for not doing what we were commanded to do and commissioned for.
Feel free to review these teachings that offer a very practical 5-step process to Loving Your Neighbor and give me your feedback:
Step 1: Be a Companion
Step 2: Care for Others
Step 3: Demonstrate Compassion