Thursday, March 23, 2017

What Do I Do?

Matthew 22:37-39 - Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"

We are asked to love our God first and foremost...and then love our neighbor. How do we do this? Who is our neighbor? God loves us unconditionally, which will never change. We are called to be like Christ and that includes loving others.

So what do I do? How do I do it? What outlet has God built into me that will allow me to be like Him? How can I be His heart to love, His hands to heal, His feet to carry His word, His eyes to see, His words to speak? I'm sure we all have some form of compassion within us. But do we reach out farther or do we turn a blind eye?

What do I do? We are asked to pray as individuals and for ourselves corporately. There is a need in this world, but even more closely, a need in our own community. What can we do? What can I do?

To become more like Christ we must undergo a transformation. The butterfly and the cocoon is an example. The butterfly goes through a transformation, a metamorphosis, where it once was a not so beautiful creature, but it morphs into this creature of beauty.

See more in this...a caterpillar is lowly, crawls around in it's little world on earth, barely seen. Then by nature it encapsulates itself in this cocoon, a sort confinement, a place like we may find ourselves at some point in our lives that we desire to be free from. This caterpillar is then transformed within that cocoon. To become free it must struggle to release itself but the struggle is well worth it. Out emerges this beautiful butterfly and isn't it amazing how we associate freedom with flight!

What do I do? Having to do something requires change. It requires prayer and faith. Maybe a lot of faith because we don't see what is taking place.

We are called to reach out to the lost. We are called to be disciples. We are called to love God first then our neighbor. Our neighbor is anyone. Remember the story of the woman at the well? Jesus reached out to this Samaritan woman, one Jews did not normally associate with. Recall the story of the good we see the reverse. A Samaritan reaching out to a person he also did not normally associate with, a Jew. The barriers were down. As they should be.

We need to be willing to let go of preconceived ideas, attitudes, and pride to reach out to help someone in need. Are we willing to step down from our seemingly lofty places? Of course we must have wisdom in all circumstances and maintain a certain amount of caution that we are not in harm's way. But if you see a person in need of food and their appearance is unsettling, are you willing to step out of your little world to help them? Are you willing to help even someone as close as your own neighbor in need?

To do what He wants us to in this world means humbling ourselves. Jesus came in humility in every aspect...birth, life and death. He came not to be served but to serve. Think about it...did He stop serving? He healed, He taught, He guided, He had compassion on all people. He spent three years roaming the countryside receiving both rejection and acceptance. He had no home to call His own but I'm certain He thought a lot about His Kingdom in heaven. He knew the eternal destiny of all was in His hands and only through Him could they be saved. This was why He came to this earth. He came to seek and save the lost. He asks us to do the same.

C.S. Lewis said: "There are no ordinary people. You have never met a mere mortal [one subject to death]. You have either known an immortal horror or an immortal eternal splendor." We all have an eternal destiny and this is what I believe he was talking about. We have a choice to make today. Whichever way we go it's for eternity. The important choice should be Jesus Christ for eternal life or we will be that immortal horror!

Gentility and humility should be our standard. If this is what Jesus did, so should we. That means being humble. Only a humble heart can take that step to help one who is needy.

In order to know what we are to do we need to know the One who created us. Then we need to seek His guidance. He's involved in our lives so we should be involved in His...with our hearts, hands, feet, eyes and mouths. We should love our neighbor, seek those who are lost, no matter who they are, no matter if they reject our words or actions.

Matthew 5:43-47 - You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you... For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 

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