by Ed Pincusoff
As a disciple (a devoted, daily, diligent Christ-follower – anything less is called something else) what effect should Bible knowledge (and therein is an assumption that your Bible knowledge is being intentionally pursued, being allowed to penetrate deeply into your understanding, and then being worked out through your life) have on your life? What is the absolute, bare bones of your faith? The one thing you do NOT want to miss?
What would it be? Go ahead; think about it for a minute. Really. Look at your watch and think about it for a minute. I’ll wait…
Ok, good job. Now, while what you came up with is a treasure, I’d like to answer that question by just asking what would Jesus say (how did you know I was going to say that)?
In Jesus’ own words, He gave us the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-40). Here we are told to love the Lord our God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. This idea is underlined by Jesus a few more times. Observe.
John 13:34-35 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Please don’t dismiss this as children’s Sunday School material (which it is). People spend their lives growing in abiding understanding of what this means. Jesus presents His command (The only one He called His) as earth-shaking, life changing, Kingdom entering, God glorifying revelation. First, Jesus equates this to the way He loves us, and He died for us. Second, the Greek form of the word ‘love’ used in these verses really says this.
“Anyone who does not continually, selflessly love does not know God…”
Consider this brief encouragement to agape/love as a first installment, to be continued in future Shepherd’s Heart Chronicles. Take a few weeks to see yourself and the circumstances and people around you through John 13:34-35. In fact, here’s some homework. If you do it, it will change your world. If you don’t, you won’t.
Here it is. Memorize our focal verse. John 13:34-35. Then start to notice God working around you. Prepare yourself to be surprised. It’s His world, His work, and you’re His kid.
Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect (complete),
even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.