love God and love people

A CrossPointer walked out to his truck last Sunday evening to retrieve something he needed for work.  When he shut the door, he forgot to lock it.

The first thing the next morning the CrossPointer noticed someone else had been in his truck.  His vehicle had been vandalized.  Someone opened the unlocked door and stole several items.  Thankfully the thief was not very intelligent, because he overlooked an expensive piece of equipment the CrossPointer uses in his work.

The CrossPointer’s first response was anger.  He was angry with himself for not locking the door.  Thieves broke into a vehicle down the street not too long ago.  How could he forget to do something so basic?

Then his anger shifted.  Now he was angry with the thief.  He was ready to take matters into his own hands.  He wanted to find the vandal and settle all accounts.  He was not about to let someone get away with stealing.

The devoted follower of Jesus Christ says within milliseconds, in the midst of his growing anger, he heard a voice.  It was my voice.  It was my voice from the message I preached just a few hours earlier that morning.  The CrossPointer heard me say, “Love God and love people.”

He wanted to be angry.  He wanted to take matters in his own hands.  He was frustrated.  Yet he was reminded of the truth from God’s Word: love God and love people.

Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).

The two commandments go together.  The first produces the second, and the second is the result of the first.  For one CrossPointer that message became a reality in a way he was not expecting.  Because he loved God he was compelled to love others, even if they were a thief.

The remainder of the day the command echoed in his ears: love God and love people.  Thankfully the command settled in his heart.  By the time he recounted the story to me, he was laughing about the robbery.

Remember, there are two commands that take priority.  There are two things that matter most in life; just two.  Every human being will be held responsible for loving God and loving people.


3 Responses to “love God and love people”

  1. 1 Stacy
    January 8, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Wow! Talk about stepping on somebody’s toes….you got me, and I needed that!!! I found out some crazy information today that has had my attitude going in the wrong direction. I know it’s silly of me to get angry that someone has spread lies about someone I care about, and that it shouldn’t matter as long as I know the truth, but it still got under my skin. The first things I thought and said were extremely defensive, but after reading this entry today I am reminded of scripture that I quoted to someone just yesterday….who knew I was going to need it today. It says:

    Matthew 5:43-45
    You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.

    Thanks for that reminder, it came just when I needed it!

    Thanks be to God!!!

  2. January 8, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Stacy, you get it. That proves the power of God’s Word. It reproves, corrects, instructs and encourages. Thank you for sharing your story.

  3. January 12, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Hi Stacy!
    You commented, “The first things I thought and said were extremely defensive”; Sounds like that all worked out after talking to God about it. You didn’t cut the tip off of his/her ear so sounds like you’re doing well:) (Peter is my favorite disciple.) That’s great! It is not silly of you to get angry that someone ‘spread lies about someone you care about’ (sin). Jesus turned over the tables in the synagogue because of sin. How compassionate of you to support your friend and take it on yourself to spiritually fight in his/her defense. Ecc. 4:9-10 That is noble and rare these days. Your friend is blessed to have your loyalty and trust. Continue to be confident in your convictions, slow to anger, abounding in love. I love the Veggie Tales Jonah movie; in particular, the part where Jonah finally (although begrudgingly-as with many of us) obeys and with overrated fanfare tells the Ninevites to “STOP IT! A message from the LORD.” With the lack of recognition of true authority being so prevalent, we must be bold to call sin, sin and LOVINGLY hold others accountable as well as allowing ourselves to be held accountable. (ouch…now i’m stepping on my own toes:)) Thanks for sharing those stories pastor Ryan and Stacy. Blessings.

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