Love God ... Love People
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'…and…'Love your neighbor as yourself'."1
Ron Clark of Tasmania, Australia, tells how he "read of a halfway house for men released from prison where they could stay until they got a job and somewhere to live. One young man had been in a penal institution for most of his adult life. One day as he sat in the lounge, the three-year-old daughter of the couple who ran the shelter crawled up onto his lap, put her arms around his neck and gave him a hug. With tears running down his cheeks he said, 'This is the first time I can remember anyone touching me in love.'
"A few weeks later he gave his life to Jesus Christ. God used that unique communication of physical contact and love to break the scars of all those years."
I recall reading in one of Leo Buscaglia's books about a fairly small child who went to a neighbor's house where a husband lived whose wife had died. When she returned home, her mother asked what she did. She said, "I just sat on his lap and helped him cry."
If there were one answer for the ills of the world, it could be summed up in the words of Jesus when he was asked by a lawyer, "Which was the greatest of all the commandments?" To which Jesus replied, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."2
If we truly love God, we will serve him. We will also love people and do all we can to help them because we serve God by serving people.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to love you with all of my heart, soul and mind, and love my neighbor as myself, and to serve you by giving and ministering to others. And help me to always do this with a pure motive—one that will glorify you in all that I am and do. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV).
2. Matthew 22:37–40 (NIV).