And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:34-40
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” Matthew 22:37-40It’s very clearly spelled out. Jesus gave no room for argument or speculation. We are to love God first. Every part of us. In everything. We cannot give place to another. In another chapter of Matthew, Jesus warns that no one can serve two masters. It’s not possible. I always imagined it as having one throne in our hearts, designed for our Creator. Yet, we allow other “gods” to take up that space. This is simply our biggest mistake. If God is not first in our lives…If we do not love Him first and foremost and ABOVE everything else…then we are breaking the most important commandment.
Is He first in our thoughts? Our actions? Our words? Is He first in our time? Our goals? Our dreams? Do our entire “worlds” revolve around Him, or do we only try to fit Him into the chaos of our lives?
“Come on, Janice!” You might say. “How much does this matter? Doesn’t the Bible say God loves everyone? If He loves us, then He understands how busy we are! He understands that there are a lot of other things that demand our attention!” I agree with a lot of this sentiment: God does love us, and He does understand. However (and that’s a B-I-G however), in Revelation 3:16, Jesus says, “So then because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.”
Translation: God is either first in our hearts, or we’re not getting it right.
That’s not all. Jesus had a second important commandment: “And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Matthew 22:39
You see, if God is first in our lives, then IT…WILL…SHOW. It will show in our demeanor, in our attitude, and in our actions. So, if we say God is first in our lives, yet we turn our face away from our neighbor, then we are lying. This does not mean we are to allow others to take advantage of us. God isn’t requiring us to be door mats, but it does mean we are to be “Wise as serpents and gentle as doves.” Matthew 10:16
Go back to my first Biblical example of Matthew 25. Jesus was pretty specific about who was getting it right. It was those who cared for and remembered the broken, the hungry, the hurting, the sinner.
Are we getting it right?
When was the last time we thought of someone else’s needs outside of ourselves? When was the last time we gave, not because we were expecting anything in return, but simply because it was the right thing to do? When was the last time we lifted people up in prayer? When was the last time we struck up a conversation with someone at the store? Or smiled to those who walked by? Or had a kind word for the rude person at checkout? Or do we live in our own little bubbles, coming and going, concerned about our own lives?
Are we getting it right?
This morning, this question keeps repeating in my head, but it is a question I am asking myself. If God is first in my life, then loving and serving others is going to be a byproduct of my relationship with Jesus.
Why? Because we can’t serve two masters. IF we’re grumpy or angry or bitter or arrogant or judgmental or contrary, then who is our Master?
Here’s what I know: I WANT to get it right. I don’t want to go to church, sit on a pew, get spiritually fat, go home, and keep living out my existence in my little bubble of family and friends. I WANT God on the throne of my heart, and I WANT for that to be evident every day.
Pictures in the post are provided by Google Images.