Day #13 Live with a Mission: Love
Read Matthew 22:34-40
I once knew an engaged couple whose whole relationship seemed to depend on the fact that they were engaged rather than on the reason why they were engaged. The relationship itself was nurtured through their constant (and somewhat sickening) reminders to themselves and others of the greatness of the relationship they were in. When they met other people they talked about their relationship. When they went shopping, they were picking out things that would remind them of times in their relationship. When they met other couples they talked about how those other couples needed a relationship like their own.
The problem with Dave and Christy’s relationship was that their existence as a couple was based on their relationship status with one another not on love for one another. It’s not surprising that the engagement never made it to marriage—they spent more time talking about the idea of a relationship and convincing themselves and others that they were in a great relationship than they did in cultivating love for one another. They were “in relationship” with one another, not “in love.”
People can often do the same thing when it comes to mission. It can be easy to be more about the mission of the church and allow loving the Lord our God with all our heart, mind soul and strength to take a back seat to the task at hand. We have to be growing as a disciple ourselves in order to faithfully make disciples. If we want to be faithful and fruitful in mission, we first need to be passionate about the great God who loves us and who calls us to love him.
This Sunday we will be looking at Matthew 28:18-20, which is commonly referred to as “the Great Commission.” The Great Commission is the task that Jesus has given his followers to accomplish. But along with the great commission we are also given the “great commandment" in Matthew 22:37 “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.”
Both of these great commands of scripture are necessary for the believer. To be a disciple and to make disciples to be sure. But if you take away the source of the love (God demonstrating his love in the gospel) then the demonstration of love to others by making disciples is robbed of it’s authenticating power before others. People don’t want to hear about the concept of following Jesus from someone who is not a disciple any more than someone wants to hear about the concept of being in a relationship by someone who is not in love.
Live with a Mission Today: Ask God to help you be passionate about following Jesus personally and about the mission to which he has called the church. Think about when you talk to others, are they more aware of your passion for Christ or for the task that you have been called? What are some ways you can convey to others how you are personally loving and following Christ in order to encourage them of their need to be a disciple of Jesus themselves?