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But this time thatís not how it happened. When he got to us he said, ďHey guys do you want to be rebellious, counter-cultural, unusual, distinct, extraordinary, and down right weird?Ē No one had started this way with us before so he had my full attention. He then looked at us smiled and said ďIf thatís what you want love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. The world just wonít get it.Ē
You know he was right. When we love the Lord with all weíve got, we will definitely be counter culture, and people will think we are a little off. But I would rather be off from the world then at odds with God.
Well if the greatest command is found in John 14:16, "If you love me you will keep my commandments."
Then the second must be found in John 15:12; "My command is this: love each other as I have loved you."
It would seem from reading the scriptures that the best way to love God is to love Godís children. To be, as Agatha Burgess put it, a person who lives by the side of the road - someone who is a friend to people.
You guys understand this better than you think you do.
When I was in college I spent a summer working with the Leonard Street Church of Christ in Pensacola Florida, as a youth intern. It was a wonderful summer and I got to live with the Reneí family. My parents came down for my birthday and when they arrived, the first person my mother hugged wasnít me, but Mrs. Reneí.
She stood there for the longest time thanking her for taking care of her son, for worrying about him, for holding him accountable, for making him keep his room straight, for loving him. My mother felt loved by that family because that family loved me.
The best way to show your love to someone is to love their kids. I didnít understand it that summer day in Pensacola, but I do know. You want to win my friendship, my affection? Be good to my boys. And I believe the same could be said for everyone here.
When Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment, he didnít hesitate. "Love God with everything youíve got." But then he added something which wasnít asked. He told the questioner the second greatest commandment.
There were hundreds of commands from which Jesus could have chosen. But the one He chose was the one that requires us to love Godís children. I think the reason He chose that one is because itís the best way of loving God himself.
In 1 Corinthians 3: 16 - 17 Paul explained why the way we treat each other is so important to God.
"Donít you know that you yourselves are Godís temple and that Godís Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys Godís temple, God will destroy him; for Godís temple is sacred, and you are that temple."
In Matthew 25 Jesus said it this way; when you feed the hungry, you feed me.
When you house the homeless, you shelter me.
When you visit the imprisoned, you visit me.
For some strange, inexplicable reason, God identifies so closely with us that our pain becomes his, when we are loved, he is loved. We are his body, he is our soul.
I think sometimes we have a hard time believing that God identifies with us. That God loves us so much he feels what we feel. Some of us just
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