A great blog post by my very wise and my kids favourite Uncle Mark. Heffo, we call him. He’s a smart guy, and this is a great post. So great, Darrin Hufford recently added it to his Free Believers Network website for the edification of the whole world. Heffo texted me when Darrin published his post, saying “You’re the writer Jo, I’m just a plumber.” Perhaps Heffo, but Jesus was just a carpenter.
I give you “Others”, by Heffo.
In Matthew 22 v 36-40 and Mark 12 v 28-34 a man asked Jesus that was both a Pharisee and a lawyer. “Teacher which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind, this is the first and greatest commandment and the second is like it – you shall love your neighbour as yourself, on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Now, if you’re like me and you remember the ten commandments in Exodus and remember God saying you shall have no other gods before Me and then think, well fair enough He is God afterall. I should love Him and worship Him and think about Him and do everything that He wants, I should try and keep His commandments.
The thing I love about this scripture is that Jesus demonstrates to us the very heart of God by telling us that loving our neighbour is just as important to God as loving Him.
The heart of God is people, it’s you , it’s me, and He demonstrated it to us by setting us free from sin and death. He has great thoughts toward you. His thoughts toward you are greater in number that the sand. And there is nothing that can separate us from His love.
When we begin to know Him, and I’m not talking about who we’ve been told that He is, but know Him truly and personally, we can’t help but love Him. It’s like the song says, “To know Him is to love Him and to love others is to love Him too.”
I have found that the two cannot be separated – loving Him and loving others are the same. That’s why He says that the second is like it. This presents to us a God who undeniably loves us and who wants us to love each other.
It also tells us that if we don’t do these that we are wasting our time keeping any of the other commandments because all of the rest of the commandments hang on these two. Don’t even bother. Don’t bother going to church, tithing, attending the prayer meeting or the home church, don’t bother greeting people at the door, giving a communion message, giving out tracts or preaching to people.
Love people first because this is the heart of God.
In Matthew, Jesus uses as example of a cup and dish when talking to the scribes and Pharisees, telling them that they keep the cup and dish clean on the outside, so it appears clean ,but inside it is dirty. Therefore He tells them to first clean the inside that it may be clean on the outside too. In other words don’t bother.
John 13 v 34-35: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that your are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 15 v 12: This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
John 15 v 17: These things I command you – that you love one another.
This is God talking to us, telling us His heart – spilling His guts, letting the cat out of the bag, laying all His cards out on the table etc.
How do we then love others and develop this heart for our neighbour?
Two words : KNOW HIM
Knowing Him = loving Him
Loving Him = loving what He loves
In the process of knowing and loving Him, He will begin to change our heart and your hearts will combine and you will find that your hearts are the same , with the same purpose and that is – people. Your heart breaks for what breaks His and your heart jumps for what makes His jump.
I promise that while you are taking care of others, and in the service of others you will hear God’s voice.
Philippians 2 v 3: Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Romans 12 v 15-16: Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind towards one another. Do not set your mind on high things but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
Romans 12 v 9-10: Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. Be kindly, affectionate to one another with brotherly love in honour, giving preference to one another.
How about this saying for an all time favourite around Christian communities – God has a plan for your life – Oh, not that it’s not true, not at all, but the tragedy of this saying is that most people will go through their lives and never find out what this is. And as with most things that are God related it is so simple but somehow most people miss it.
So I will tell you what God’s purpose for your life is and if you don’t believe me now there will come a day when you will – I guarantee you.
Here it is; To know God and to serve others.
Make your life complete by giving it away. Matthew 10 v 39: He who finds his life will lose it and he who loses his life for My sake shall find it.
Ephesians 2 v10: For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared before-hand that we should walk in them.
Hebrews 10 v 24: And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works
We were created for good works. I’m telling you that it is a great thing to be a part of something that is not all about us.
In a world where most people, it seems are out to look out for number one this is your opportunity to shine. To feel that feeling of fulfillment that only comes from helping others and you will feel fulfilled because it is God’s plan for your life.
It is possible to constantly be ministering the gospel and showing people the heart of God without even using words.
Because God made us for this purpose He knows that this is what we all need to keep ourselves from falling into depression or self-pity. Even doctors are discovering that if a person suffers from depression the best treatment for them is to join a volunteer organization that helps people.
When you live a selfless life and in fact are prepared to give your life away, science has documented and proven that you are happier and healthier. They call the benefits the warm glow effect. The more you do for others, the more you glow.
Titus 3 v8: This is a faithful saying – and these things I want to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
1 Thessalonians 4 v 9-11: But concerning brotherly love, you have no need that I should write to you for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. (Then continues to urge them to increase more and more in their goodness toward each other.)
In short, to love others and live for others helps you live out God’s purpose for you and abandon your dreams for yourself.
These tough times present us with a great opportunity to help others with the recent floods and tough times financially. With the floods thousands of people are discovering how wonderful it is to help others. It’s fulfilling because it’s our purpose.
Galatians 5 v 13-14: Owe no-one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another fulfills the law.
I enjoy it when I hear of someone helping someone else for no reason other than they were compelled to do it. Doing something for someone because you now have the heart of God brings honour and glory to Him and not to you.
I have in the past seen men and women who because of their high positions or positions of authority insisted on being honoured. But truthfully God gives us high positions so that we can serve. To be a servant of others is, and should be our goal.
Mark 10 v 43-45: But whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever desires to be first shall be slave to all, for even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.
Matthew 23 v 11-12: But he who is the greatest among you shall be your servant and whoever exalts himself will be abased and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
If we need further proof that God wants us to serve others we need look no further than John 3 v 12-16: So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments and sat down again He said to them – Do you know what I have done to you? You call me teacher and Lord and you say well, for so I am. If I then your Lord and teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master nor is he who is sent greater that he who sent him. If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.
God’s purpose for us is not just to eat food and suck in air. Fill a need in someone, there is a hole in someone elses life that God is waiting just for you to fill.
Let’s have a heart for others and show people the true heart of God. We are living proof of the existence of God. We are called to love the world – not hate it. John 3 v 16.
Matthew 6 v 21: Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
We have to stop buying into the material doctrines of this world and lose ourselves in other people’s problems because there we find the answers to our own.