“Love God, Love Others, Live Simply”
“Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
This is the first and greatest commandment given by God. We are to love Him and Him alone. No other God’s before Him. None. At all. Ever. Known as the “Shema” by the Jewish people and is one of their most sacred scriptures. This scripture along with the Ten Command-ments are found in the mezuzah on their doorposts as a reminder of their commandments as they come and go from their homes.
I think our nation and people have lost their love of God. Maybe they feel that God is no longer relevant because He cannot “friend” you on Facebook or other social media. Maybe they prayed to win the lottery and did not win. Maybe they feel God has let them down by allowing a loved one to die. Maybe they see the increasing violence in our own country and around the world and can’t imagine a loving God allowing this to continue. Or, perhaps they see Christians living in some ungodly ways during the week, but heading off to church each Sunday.
How do we restore this Love in those around us? To give them a sense of hope in a God that loves them. That’s our challenge. To let your love of God be visible wherever you are. As the hymn says, “Take the Name of Jesus with you. Take it with you where you go.”
When Jesus was asked by the Pharisees (trying to catch Him) what the greatest commandment was:
Jesus said to them, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with your entire mind. This is the first and the greatest commandment and the second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
Your neighbor is anyone you come in contact with each day. In your neighborhood, at your jobs, in the stores and schools. Anywhere you go. All people. We need to show God’s love and care for them in all we do.
Like Jesus told us in Matthew 5:14-16
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
How can we show the Light to other people? Take care of their needs and pray for them. Take care of their physical needs before we take on their spiritual needs.
Living simple does not mean you have to give up a lot of stuff … you don’t have to become Amish. You can live simply by keeping your mind and life free from a lot of clutter.
•Less TV and social media
•Learning to say “no”
•Avoiding drama in the office and at home
•More prayer time and reading in God’s Word and thinking about how to apply it to your life.
•Keep life free from life’s clutter and stuff
When people see you living an unstressed life because you are focused more on God, and less on possessions and “stuff,” that’s when you begin to make an impact. The questions may come about why you don’t get all “bent out of shape” when things don’t go like you want. How can you possibly live calmly in the midst of the chaos of your job or home or even church?
Living simply is not an easy thing to do. It takes time and, (even though it seems to be contrary to each other) you have to work at it. You just remember to whom you belong … God. And remember to Love God, Love Others, and to Live Simply.
And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.
Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, a musician, a minister and the author of “Being God’s” and “Staying God’s,” both available at Amazon.com. Being God’s is also available at Moye’s Pharmacy in McDonough.