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Posted by Dr. Scott Solberg on Apr 10, 2018 with 1 Comments

Love God and Love Others

AT WEFC, OUR WAY OF LIFE IS PATTERNED after the five teachings of Jesus found in the Gospel of Matthew. The first of these teachings is Matthew 5-7, the Sermon on the Mount. This entire passage serves as a template for what it looks like to love God and to love others.

For example, in Matthew 6:33 we hear Jesus say, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” This is not just some lofty spiritual exercise. Instead, it is very practical. In the context, seeking God first is the remedy for worry and for being anxious about tomorrow. This is how you love God. He is first. You trust him.

Then of course, Jesus gives us what is known as the “Golden Rule” in Matthew 7:12, “So whatever you wish others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” When Jesus says, “this is the Law and the Prophets” it is his way of saying that “this is what it is all about.” Notice the proactive nature of this statement. He is not just saying, “Don’t do to others what you don’t want others to do you.” Rather, it is a call to be proactive and “to do for others what you would want others to do for you.” This is how we love others.

What steps can we take to better love God and love others?

Corporate Worship – The habit of weekly corporate worship is a habit that shapes your heart towards God. Make this a priority for you and your family. Bring your children to the worship service. Godly hearts are shaped by Godly habits.

Praying the Lord’s Prayer – Pray the Lord’s Prayer and use it as a template for your prayers. It aligns your heart with God’s heart. The purpose of prayer is not to change God, but to change us. Pick up a copy of the 2018 WEFC Prayer Guide. It is fashioned after the Lord’s Prayer.

Make Community a Priority – You can’t make people a priority if you are not connected to people. Social media gives the impression that we are connected, when in reality it has led to further isolation. This is why we have formed Community Groups. Take time for people.

See the Image of God in Everyone – Ask God to help you see people the way God sees people. Every person you meet is precious because they bear the image of God. This is why Jesus says in Matthew 5 that anger is equivalent to murder and lust is equivalent to adultery. In each case, the image of God in others is diminished in our angry words and our lustful thoughts.

This is Kingdom Life! This is what it is all about! Through faith in Jesus Christ, God delivers us from the dominion of darkness and transfers us into the kingdom of the beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sin. He gives us a heart to love God and love others.

Alyssa Apr 12, 2018 8:48pm

I would like to share my personal experience regarding social media. There are certainly pros and cons, of course, but as a stay at home mom, it has been a great tool for combatting the feeling of isolation. When I'm stuck inside with my little ones, whether due to the weather or illness, and cannot get out to meet people in person, connecting with other parents on social media really has been a blessing. It's a reminder that there are other moms stuck at home and we are all going through the same struggles of parenthood together, even though we are separate. That's not to say it's a substitute for face-to-face connection, but I think of how in history, people wrote letters to one another to stay connected to their loved ones when they were distanced by various things: war, prison, travel, etc. Even a phone call is not the same as being physically "in community," but the point is to stay connected and invest in relationships. If the only way to do that is through email or social media, then that's what I have to do. Or else I'll go crazy.

Hm... I wonder if Paul would have used social media while in prison. :)