Crossways Concepts

Because it is all about the cross...

Insights from the scripture as lead by the Holy Spirit

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If You Can Only Do One Thing...

His mom sent him up to clean his room.  There were toys all over the floor.  While the task is simple, just pick up the toys and put them away, the child has a potential distraction in every toy he picks up.  He want to please his mom and be able to go outside, but these are his favorite toys.

After a bit, his mom comes up and finds that her son has completely stopped cleaning and is now immersed in his play.  The potential distractions have caused the boy to completely lose track of his original goal.

In our Christian walk, we can lose track of our goal just like this boy did his.  In spite of the libraries of writings on the subject, Christianity is really quite simple.  However, satan loves for us to get bogged down in the details and completely miss the wonderful simplicity.

When Jesus was asked what was the most important thing that God wants of His children, He replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).  He wants us to love Him with all we've got.  Simple, right?

Yet the world has quite distorted what we call 'love'.  In our world, love is thought of as something with strings attached and something that benefits self.  But, real love doesn't work that way.

Consider the mom that puts herself at risk to protect her children or the spouse that cares for their sick partner to the point that their own health is failing.  In these cases, the person showing the love is sacrificing what they want and need, just because of their love.  They are not seeking to get anything for themselves out of their efforts, they only want to put the interest of the other person above their own.

This simple, uncomplicated love is real love.  This is the love that God expects from His followers.

It is much easier to 'love' the more tangible things of the world than it is to love a God that we can't see.  We can easily find ourselves focused on the drama, the stuff and the concepts that we are immersed in, instead of maintaining our love relationship with the the God in heaven.  After all, He is there and we are here.

Yet, it is unlikely that any of your friends or family ever died to save you.  Nobody you know created the world you live in.  None of the things we 'need' will help us live beyond the death of our bodies.  No amount of money will ever unconditionally love us.

Loving the things of the world is totally futile, but it is easy to do.

Loving the Lord with all of our heart, mind and soul is not easy, especially when living in the midst of all the distractions of the world.  Yet, the lord deserves our love because of who He is and what He has done for us. 

Loving the Lord is an act of faith.  When we love the Lord, as He deserves, we are saying, “You are real, You are significant, You are God.”  Loving Him is an act of worship that affirms Him as King, Creator and Savior.  Most important of all, loving Him this way, places us into right-relationship to Him.

There is no way that we can sacrificially love Him and serve our own interests above His.  As we love Him with a love that puts His interests before ours, then we are automatically placing ourselves into a position of submission.  As we love Him like this, then we walk the sentiment of Jesus' crucifixion-eve statement of, “Yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39) when He chose to make His life submissive to His love for the Father.

Similarly, when we have this sacrificial love for the Lord, we will seek to please Him.  It is by this desire to please the object of our love, that we make decisions to avoid sin.  Sin is simply those things that seek to distract us from that simple love relationship.  Sins are things we choose to benefit ourselves, but come at the expense of the love we have for the Lord. 

As we love the Lord, we cannot help but see ourselves in relation to Him.  When we humbly love Him, then we are automatically repentant.  We cannot hold onto loving Him above all else, while hanging onto our own sinfulness.  If we disappoint somebody we truly care about, seeking forgiveness is a natural process.

The love that Jesus spoke of, can't be a part-time, once a week or an as-needed thing.  Having real love is a way of life.  Love that can be turned on and turned off isn't real love.  Just as a mother doesn't forget that she has children, when we have real love for the Lord, that love is always with us.  The Bible speaks of us walking with the Lord, so that where ever we go, whatever we are doing, we are always loving the Lord and aware of His presence.

Everything that we are supposed to be is wrapped up in this simple instruction to love the Lord.

The whole concept is so simple.  To God, this is a yes or no question: do we love him or don't we?  All those crazy questions that fragment and paralyze the church, need to have their significance compared to this most basic commandment.  In spite of the fact that we cannot escape the Lord's love for us, we appear to prefer to have meaningless debates, than the simply love Him back.

We need to spend more time dwelling on who He and and the wonderful things He does.  Then, we can allow the love for Him to well up in us.  As we walk in a love relationship with Him, we will walk with an awareness of His presence in our lives.  This is what we were made for.  That is the essence of a life pleasing to God.

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Lexington, Ky