All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need
All You Need is Love- The Beatles
Have you ever met someone who likes to tell stories? I’m not talking about stories that are primarily for entertainment. I’m talking about that person who likes to make up stories about themselves. I think I know a few of these people myself. I mean sure they could be telling the truth but nothing in their life shows it. Let’s say that I have a friend who tells me every day that he plays volleyball on Canada’s Olympic mens team, yet every time I see him play he completely sucks. I would quickly lose most respect for that person’s word. See sometimes peoples actions completely say the opposite thing their mouth is saying. Not only does this make a person seem completely untrustworthy, aka a liar, but it also deeply effects the relationship you have with that person, as lying does.
The sad thing about this example, it’s not far off the way many Christians are living their life, including myself. How often do we say we are Christians with our words but our actions tell everyone watching us that we are liars? Are we daily submitting our lives to the God we claim to love? Now in no way am I trying to make this out to be an easy task, I said myself that this is my own struggle. I am rather trying to point out the stark truth we find in the Bible. Jesus says in John 14:23 ” All who love me will do what I say…” (NLT). This verse makes me ask myself “Do you really love Him?” If the answer is yes (which it is), then next I ask myself “How can I show it?”
So we all know what Jesus commands us to do in the Great Commission (Matt 28:16-20), we need to go to all the nations discipling, baptizing, and teaching the Word. So that is the simple answer the question. I don’t want simple to be confused with easy. These are not even close to being daily practices for me yet, but I say simple because they are things in the forefront of my mind and things that I give back to God often as I try to submit my will to Him. I think most mature Christians would be the same, when we feel convicted to live a more holy life we think about one of two things; Sin that needs to be taken care of, and people who need to be reached. And yes it is true that reaching people and repenting of sin are ways to lead a life of submission to God (the scriptures I have shared makes this obvious) they just aren’t the only way to live a life of submission. The question I am asking today is not “What did God command and are we following?” the question is “How do people know that I truly love Jesus?” Because just like the stories above, when we label someone a liar, relationship is broken and their word loses its credibility.
Of course we want to be people of credibility and people who represent Jesus well, so finally, how do we do that? Well Jesus gives us the answer, John 13:35 says “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (ESV). Somehow I feel like this passage was kind of skimmed over for most of my life, and that is a shame because it’s an important verse. As I said above, there are two common responses when we feel convicted to live a holy life; addressing sin in our life and reaching out to people who do not know the love of our God. But I think that this verse begs a third response, to fix relationship with our Christian brothers and sisters. It is hard to respond this way because it requires us to put our pride to the side and put others first. I hear so much gossip within churches, so many petty fights over politics. If we aren’t unified are we truly Christ’s body? If unity is how the world will know, do we love Jesus enough to love one another?
People are lost. So many people are lost. I need to first address sin in my life so that I can properly follow Jesus and love others. I need to go, actually get off my ass and go talk to people who need Jesus. But none of it will matter if I can’t love the church. Let’s put aside our differences and go into the Great Commission together.