Thought for the Week - 31st MayPastor Gareth Watkins
MARK 12: 29-31
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
JOHN 3: 17
“If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.“
When we first become Christians, our salvation and that first love for Christ is wonderful. We know we are saved, forgiven of our sins, and as time goes on we learn God’s word and come to know the power of the Holy Spirit within us. We walk on ahead, but then 5 years in, 50 even, and right up to the day we see God face to face, do we hold on to that certainty of faith all the way through? Sadly, people can and do lose their faith, they start on their walk but as time goes on sin creeps in and self-will reclaims priority in their hearts.
For us then as we go forward, the crucial next steps from the knowing and the learning is the doing. It is the acting on the words of Christ and doing what He commands us to. When being provokingly tested by a scribe who asked what the greatest of all the commandments was, Christ responded in the perfect way that only He could, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart… and… love your neighbour as yourself“.
We have within us the love of God and a love for our God. Our love for Him is what drives us to want to worship, praise, and come together in fellowship with others to exalt Him. We don’t do this for earthly gain or prestige, but because we love Him.
‘’Love your neighbour as yourself’’… We are commanded to love others through action not just in empty sentiment. Loving our neighbour won’t save our souls or cleanse our sins, but will evidence the state of our faith. When we are right with God in our walk, loving others becomes part of us as our hearts become burdened for them. It is the love He has for us that is imparted through us and to others. It is of course not always as easy as that, we are human and we each have complexities which leaves us in danger of growing cold. We can harden along the way as old thinking edges back in. After all, Godly love for others often contradicts worldly ways. It is a hardening heart that can lead us away from God. It is not how long you have been walking that you can take your certainty from, it’s the going on with Christ, continuing to act on His words, and loving God with all your heart that will take you safely on until you enter into eternity.