Love God. Love People.

Scripture: “And you shall 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: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
– Mark 12:30-31

This passage of Scripture calls for us to Love God and Love People, in that order. This is an important observation because we sometimes:

  • Mix up our priorities
  • Neglect our love for people
  • And sometimes forget both of them

When we don’t put into action Loving God and then Loving People, in that order the results speak for themselves. Jesus is found in the House of God speaking to the Scribes – a religious group of folk who were fixated on finding fault with him. In context, verses 38 – 40 tell us that this group of religious leaders were more concerned about their posture, clothing, traditions, reputation, greed, sitting in places of influence and being seen by men rather than having their hearts and minds transformed and realigned with God’s purpose by the living words of Jesus. They were so blinded by their religion that they weren’t able to see the Truth standing, speaking, teaching, healing and breathing in their midst. Consumed by their tradition they assumed that God would deliver his people in a different way rather than using a “blasphemer” and lowly carpenter from Nazareth – therefore, they missed God moving and doing a new thing altogether.

The implications of mixing up our priorities, neglecting our love for people or forgetting to do both of them (Loving God and Loving People) can be seen in our culture today.

Mixing Up Our Priorities

We mix up our priorities when we Love People more than we Love God. This practice manifests in a number of ways. Here are a few limited examples:

  • God’s standards are replaced by the cultural standards of those we love. Our perception becomes jaded and darkened with idioms, ideologies and practices that are built on sinking sand and not the rock of the Gospel.
  • People become our Savior. At the very best people can save others from certain circumstances but at the very worst they don’t have the ability, power or authority to save men’s souls from hell. In effect, when we Love People more than we Love God we establish them as our kings, prophets and idols. They speak on our behalf and give us direction for our lives. They occupy the thrown of our heart and God doesn’t take pleasure in being 2nd in line to the thrown – He’s a jealous God. He’s a God who breaks and exposing idols for what they are – limited in love, perfection, mercy, grace, function and not having enough authority or power.
  • Sacred becomes Sacrilege. So now, what was called sin is now patted on the back in the form of empathy, mercy and love. Now, what was deemed holy, right and moral is now backwards, old fashioned, out of touch and even discriminatory in practice.

violation or misuse of what is regarded as sacred. – sacrilege definition

Neglecting Our Love For People

When we Love God and not people the the mission of Jesus is limited to our inability to be about the Great Commission and our Father’s work within the Earth. We become so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good. We lose touch with the spiritual needs of the people we are called to serve and live with. More, one could argue that a person who love’s God and not people can’t Love God.

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. – 1 John 4:20

This idea of not loving people is contrary to the believer’s new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17). Your new nature in Jesus Christ should produce new desires that point back to Jesus. Jesus’ whole mission was to do the will of his Father, connect sinners to God through the forgiveness of sins and then to commission those forgiven people to go make disciples. And in that process we are called to love one another and those who don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. – John 13:34-35

But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you… – Luke 6:27

 Forgetting to Love God and Love People

A question must be asked when we forget to Love God and Love People, are you saved? Again, we are called to love God with all of our being – body, mind and soul. Meaning, it’s going to take work on our part. Sometimes loving God flies in the face of conventional wisdom and cultural norms. Sometimes loving people calls for you to go the extra mile or to sprinkling our conversations and attitudes with grace. Once we’ve gotten our relationship with God right our relationship with people will fall in line. God will continue to work in us, for our good and his Glory. And once he begins a work, he’ll finish the work.

Questions For Spiritual Formation

  1. Do you Love God the way you say you love him?
  2. Do you Love People the way you say you love them?
  3. Does your love for people, within the context of Biblical Truth, extend beyond your prejudices?
  4. Are you saved (The Romans Road To Salvation)?

 

God Has Put Eternity In Our Hearts

Subscribe To My Youtube Channel Today!

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

This scripture tells us that our souls have a hole in them that only God can satisfy. Our deepest desires can only be quenched and satisfied by the One who created us.

Romans Road To Salvation

Subscribe To My Youtube Channel Today!

The Romans Road to Salvation can teach you how to share your faith with people who don’t know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is a method that allows us to see a few things in action:

  1. Why We Need Salvation
  2. How God Provided for Salvation
  3. How to Receive Salvation
  4. The Results of Salvation

The Scriptures that The Romans Road uses are:

Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 5:8 – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 10:9-10 – because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

Prayer of Salvation also known as the Prayer of Faith

“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

Resource: http://www.allaboutgod.com/prayer-of-salvation.htm

Where Will You Go? Jesus Gives Eternal Life

Subscribe To My Youtube Channel Today!

Whom or Where shall we go if Jesus has the words of eternal life? This video explores this idea through 4 types of people in a passage of Scripture found in the Book of John.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
John 6:68-69 ESV

The goal of this video is to encourage us to examine our hearts and not abandon our posts as believers. The world may appear more convenient and easier to navigate through but it cannot save your soul. All of the people in this passage respond to Jesus in ways that we may be able to relate to today. Which now begs the question, Where will you go?

Jeremiah 29:11 Video

God’s plans for us are good and include so much hope and promise for our now and future. Our participation and obedience is key in laying hold of his plans for our lives. Faith is produced in us when we hear the Word. More, Biblical faith takes it’s cues and action on what God said and not by what our earthly nature says.

Regardless of where you are in your walk with Christ his plans for your life are amazing. I hope you enjoy this video as your learn how vast and great God’s plans are for you!

If you missed the “For I know the thoughts that I have for you” blog post you can find it here.

Subscribe To My Youtube Channel Today!

God’s Plans For Your Life Are DOPE!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

God’s plans for us are always in our best interest, for our good and ultimately His glory (beauty). This staple verse is quoted by Christians across the globe regardless of their denominational affiliation and plainly tells us that God’s thoughts, plans, desires and advice for us are DOPE and AMAZING! More, in context with this passage of Scripture, the prophet Jeremiah lets us know that the Lord’s plans for our lives are ALWAYS greater and broader than our eyes can see.

At the time of this writing, the children of Israel were being enslaved by King Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of Babylon. God allowed them to be carted off into slavery as part of his judgment toward them due to their rejection of him and his word. The plans that the people of God conceived for themselves led them into bondage and away from the One whose plans ultimately mattered. Likewise, we can get so busy and caught up in planning our lives and setting goals that we neglect to ask God what his plans are for our lives. Or once set a course of action without him we’ll ask him to cosign or bless efforts, and I’m pretty sure he’s obligated to do such a thing.

In a general sense we know God is for us and his plans for us are not evil. But in a more specific sense (in context) regardless of where you are in life – whether you’ve made your bed in sin, walk with folk who mean you no good, have made terrible decisions that you’ve regretted, or fell in love with other gods; God’s plans for us are still good. Last, it is not to late to hop on the gravy train of plans he has for your life.

12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. – Jeremiah 29:12-14

Hindsight is 2020

WE must understand that our “Right Now” and future are better with God than without him. The only thing the people of God had to do was look back at their history and see that the very God who brought them out of Egypt and supernaturally led them through the desert to the Promise Land was the same God who had more in store for them than their “Right Now”.

When I look back over my life
And I think things over I can truly say that I’ve been blessed
I’ve got a testimony

– Rev. Clay Evans

Don’t Neglect the “Right Now”

Your “Right Now” is an important part of the process because it points to the reality that where you are today is a direct result of the decisions you’ve made. Decisions are sparked by thoughts and plans that produce and set the course for your life. Your “Right Now” should be a place that leads you closer or back to the God you left for the smokescreens of greater riches, things, other gods and people.

Turning from your ways to His ways

God has some DOPE stuff waiting for us! But the passage calls us to repent, pray and seek him with everything that is within us in order to experience those DOPE plans. The result of this course of action sets the stage for God to:

  1. Bend his ear toward Earth and hear us
  2. Make himself real to us again so we can see him as he his
  3. Restore our fortunes and the things we lost
  4. Piece back together what was broken
  5. Break us out of Bondage

My prayer is that we’d trust his will and plans for our lives more than the plans we’ve declared for ourselves.

Experience his DOPENESS. You can also check out the “For I know the plans I have for you” video here.

You Can’t Take Everything With You – A New Year’s Resolution

The craziest thing about New Year’s Resolutions is that we open up our mouths with so much ease and declare with great certainty what we’ll accomplish without counting the cost. Our gestures are very sincere and even come from a real and good place. We create vision boards, dedicate ourselves to God at church services, party with good people, talk about what we’re thankful for and even what God saved us from. Even more, we use buzzwords to pepper up and describe what the new year will bring to us like: Better, GREATER, More, Increase and etc.

Ironically, According to Forbes Magazine only 8% of the people who make New Year’s Resolutions follow through on their promises.

A New Year’s Resolution is good when it’s coupled with consistent action

I’ve learned that tackling promises, vows and commitments can sometimes be easier when you have a team of folk(s) that hold you accountable, challenge and push you in the direction you should go and remind you of what God has before you. On the flip-side of that coin are a different set of people who blow kisses at you and assassinate your character all in the same sentence, don’t check you when you’re wrong, allow you to go rogue or M.I.A. and convince you to stay right where you are out of secret fear or hate that’ll you’ll succeed or be better off than them, if by chance you kill it.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
– Proverbs 27:6

When the truth of the matter is… you can’t take everyone, everything, mindset or habit with you into the new year. Don’t make the mistake of taking that “something” with you into the new year that was supposed to be buried in the previous year. If you take it with you, you may find yourself not walking in everything that God has for you because you’ll constantly be turning around to check its vital signs. Erykah Badu said it best on Bag Lady,

Bag lady you gone hurt your back
Dragging all them bags like that
I guess nobody ever told you
All you must hold onto, is you, is you, is you
– Erykah Badu

Finally, take courage because this takes faith and guts. It’s not for the weak, especially if that DEAD thing you’ve been carrying with you has matriculated into your every day life over a period of years. Here are a few action steps to get the ball rolling as you attempt to get closer to God and accomplish your resolutions.

  • Do something different in order to get a different result
  • Delete old numbers that lead you back into dark places
  • Unfollow folk that pull you away and distract you from God’s purpose in your life
  • Read a book and attain new knowledge (i.e. The Word and books dealing with habits and mindset)

What do you plan on doing different in order to accomplish your New Year Resolutions?