Mark 12:33 (ESV) And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
We were created to love God with the very essence of who we are. Everything about us should reveal our love for God. I believe that Jesus is my perfect example for how I am supposed to live. I know that I am not Jesus. I am not the Son of God, but Jesus is my goal. I was created to live like Jesus. Impossible! I know that is what many are saying. So many of you have tried to live like Jesus and so many have failed. Many of you are just hoping that you can do enough that God will still accept you when you die.
Jesus did not live perfectly without help. Jesus was given the assistance of the Holy Spirit when He was baptized by John. I believe that we too are meant to live like Jesus with the assistance of the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is available to help us, why are so many Christians not living like Jesus?
In football a person has to practice; they have to run drills and it takes time to develop the skills necessary to play the game properly. Many Christians want to go from saying a prayer to being perfect. While it is true that there are those who are healed instantly of addictions or other sinful actions, it is also true that discipline takes time and quite often God slowly works us through the process of becoming who we were created to be. There is value in the process. There is strength that is built in the process. Sometimes our biggest failure is simply failing to be patient.
I believe another area where we often fail is our understanding of love. Quite often my experience of Christian love revolves around being nice or pleasant. How do Christians deal with non-Christians in the community? We smile and say nice things. I believe that Jesus was our example of love. 1 John 4:8 says that God is love. John 14:7 says that if we have seen Jesus we have seen God. Therefore, I take Jesus to represent love. What Jesus did was sacrifice his life so that we might live. With that in mind, re-read Mark 12:33. If I love God, I am willing to sacrifice what I want and who I am for God. If I love my neighbor, I am willing to make the needs of my neighbor equal to my own and I am willing to sacrifice my desires for my neighbor.
Christian love is not just about being nice or polite. Christian love is hard, it is tough, and it is dirty. Sometimes loving like Christ is extremely painful. Many times loving like Christ is more than I can bare. I can’t love like Jesus on my own. I have to have the help of the Holy Spirit and the help of my church family. I know guys who think church is for pacifists and is too boring. Church can be boring if those in that church only think of themselves. But if they love like Christ it is anything but boring. Being out in the community and investing in the lives of people who are struggling and hurting isn’t the place for selfish wimps. Loving like Jesus is the calling of the brave men and women who willingly risk their own lives so that others will know the love of Jesus.
If you want to experience the power of God, it all starts with making Jesus King of your life, by blessing others, and bravely choosing to love others in a way that only Jesus can love.