Most of us would quote Matthew 28:16-20, the passage where Jesus told his disciples to go into all the world preaching the gospel and making disciples of men.
God desires to send us out to spread the good news and reveal the Father’s love to lost and hurting people. Just like Jesus did.
But I wonder if we miss a key component when we are trying so hard to accomplish this feat?
Where does the greatest commandment fit into the picture?
Six chapters earlier in Matt. 22:36-40, Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God with all of your being. And the second greatest is to love yourself and those around you.
I wonder if we get so fixed on pleasing God that we jump to the great commission and skip over its crucial foundation?
I don’t think it’s a stretch to state that there are just as many people hurting inside the church as there are outside it. So what are we missing as believers? Why do so many people—–both in the world and in the pew—–seem to be starving for love? For attention? For a sense of worth?
If we don’t live as royalty in God’s kingdom, knowing our sonship, our belovedness, our special place in God’s heart, we will live as orphans.
And orphans can’t effectively show the goodness of God to a hurting world. They can only tell them. Because the world sees their hurts and their fears and their continual frustrations and endless cycles of discouragement.
And for an orphan, that just makes her feel like a failure and so she works even harder to show others how good her God is. Because she does know He’s good. The Bible she believes in declares this. But something is missing. And that something is the freedom of an empowered daughter.
The woman who knows she is a beloved daughter leaks God’s goodness wherever she goes. She doesn’t have to tell the world about God’s goodness, they see it and experience it just being around her.
Believers who walk in freedom aren’t immune to difficulty. Sometimes the enemy actually goes after them with more fervor because they are a significant threat to his kingdom. But the believer who knows her God as Abba goes to the secret place and gets refilled and refueled worshipping her Daddy God and talking with Him and learning how to abide in His presence.
Until we experience God’s love, we won’t love ourselves well.
And the only love we will have for others will come through human effort, not flow as living water from our core (John 7:38).
That’s my heart’s cry—-to love God with all my being and to get so rocked by His love that I love all of me as He does. No one around me will stand a chance of not getting loved on. I won’t be irritated by their flaws, I’ll see where they need an experience with Love. Because I’ll see them with renewed eyes. Through the eyes of love. The eyes God wants to give each one of us.
Here’s a powerful video that describes the great command. Leif prays for the Father’s love to fill us at the end (the reenactments weren’t my favorite, but the content is powerful).
Father, please fill me with Your love and let it seep into every part of my being so I can love You with all that I am and love myself and others with the same love. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Photos via Pixabay