With All Your Heart
What if a Christian’s simple mantra was to love God and love people? Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37). What if, as a way of showing our love for God, we began to unconditionally love the people He so uniquely created? What would our world be like if Christ-followers acted like Jesus to everyone regardless of race, social status, or background? The apostle had not fully arrived in his Christian maturity, but he did say, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
The Pharisees for the most part was rigid about the law and so proud of their ability to follow it, they felt it gave them permission to judge those who had failed. That is why Jesus had such strong words for them. Matthew 23:25-26, “Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” Let us not be guilty of acting the way the Pharisees did on occasions.
Instead of trying to live holy lives and letting God work on their hearts the Pharisees dispersed shame, guilt and judgment on others. It is not our job as believers to inflict guilt, shame and judgment on people, but rather that is the Holy Spirit’s job (John 16:8). Our job, our ministry, can be summed up in our following Jesus His way, loving Him, and letting our love and gentleness be evident to all (Philippians 1:27, 4:5).
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