In and Out- love in the fast lane!

  garbageI’m sure everyone has heard or read the phrase- “Garbage in-Garbage out!”  Well the opposite is true as well.  “Good Stuff in-Good Stuff out!”  If we are constantly putting Good Stuff in we will get Good Stuff out. 

  Yesterday I blogged about leaving puddles of love that people have jump over so they don’t step in it.  I was asked for some practical advice on how to do this.  Here it is:

  Love!  Love unconditionally.  Love radically.  Love completely.  Love the un-lovable, the outcast, the abnormal.  But don’t forget to love your neighbor either.  The Bible has a radical verse on this-

Jesus was asked a question by the religious leaders of the day, “What is the single most important commanment in the Bible?”  They were hoping to stump Him.  They wanted to “one-up” Him with their command of the laws of God.  But I have to tell you, Jesus was one crafty individual.  Several times this had happened and every time Jesus either asked another question to make them look like idiots or answered their question in such a way that their was no room for debate or dispute.  This one falls into the latter group.  Here’s the full account from Matthew 22

34-36When the Pharisees heard how he had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault. One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?”

 37-40Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”  (The Message)

  Jesus says loving God with everything you have is numero uno.  Love God emotionally, prayerfully and intelligently.  Use every resource you have available.  Now that is not earth shattering is it?  I mean, it seems pretty obvious.  God created mankind and everything around us.  He gave His Son to die for us to make a way to get to heaven.  A debt was paid and our love is what He asks in return.  Not a bad deal.  It is the second part of this passage that blows us away.

  “Love others as well as you love yourself.”  What?  Hold on!  Rewind!  Love others like I love me?  That’s insane.  I mean, I love me some me.  Right?  We treat ourselves pretty good.  We want to best for US!!  I do.  I’m sure you do to.  We may not be able to afford the best, most of us aren’t named Trump, but we save the best for us and our family.  But Jesus pulls the rug out from under us.  Treat “others” as well as we treat “us”.  Who are the “others”?  Is it our kids-yes, our parents-yes, our spouses-yes.  How about those on the street?  What about the people we don’t like?  The teachers that give us bad grades?  The boss that fires us?  The smelly guy at church that no one wants to sit next to?  The crack head in the abandoned building on the wrong side of town?  Does Jesus really want me to love them the same as me?  Yep, uh huh, absolutely!  Jesus never stipulated which “others” to love, just “others”, everyone!  In the King James Version the word “others” is translated as “neighbor”.  The word “neighbor” is from the greek word “plhsivon” which literally translate as “any other man irrespective of nation or religion with whom we live or whom we chance to meet”.  See Strong’s Concordance.  Basically- EVERYONE!  We are to love all, irreguardless of race, color, sex, religion, smell, hair style, body type, blood type etc….

  So how do we practically apply this?  Great question and I’m glad you asked.  Herehands_holding_world-resized is the best website that I know of to find practical advice on loving others.  I will include several links but they all pretty much deal with the same website.  Sign-up for the emails.  Sign-up for the free pdf booklet (if they don’t still offer it let me know, I have a copy I will email you.  Their are a lot of free resources and great ideas.  Bring it to your life, bring it to your church or small group.  Get some friends together and see what God does.  Let me know of some of the adventures that God takes you on because of this info.  Or maybe you have some ideas of your own that you have either tried or want to try, leave them in the comments section for others to read and learn from.  F.Y.I., I am not affiliated with any of these nor do I get monetary gains from the recomendation.  I have just used them for years and they are great.

 Here’s the links-– great website.  All the info you will ever need.–  blog

Outflow: Outward-Focused Living in a Self-Focused World– Great book by the Servant Evangelism creator Steve Sjogren 

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