Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

2020 – A Time for More Love Not Less

Deuteronomy 6:5

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amI’m sure you have heard this before – love is a core value in the Christian faith. Showing love to one another is a significant characteristic of our Christian walk – or at least it is supposed to be. I believe that love seems to be missing from our society these days and also from many who claim to follow Christ. Some folks who claim to be Christians – like some of our politicians today – tend to take sides on issues and show anything but love to those who disagree with them. Like some – we tend to forget that even when we disagree – we should show love. Even when our disagreements are over our theology!! Loving one another – even in the face of disagreement – is something we are called to do by Jesus.

I created a song for my grandchildren. I sing it with them whenever they’re here or on FaceTime. It goes like this – I love Pop, Pop loves me, and that’s the way it’s going to be! If I have written it before (and I know I have) – I just love being a Pop. I love my five grandchildren – a sixth one will join them soon – from South Korea! I love showing them how much I love them – by giving them my focus when they are around. I didn’t always do that with my children. I want to be a better Pop than I was a Dad. They love to sit with Pop and comb his greying hair (it may be greying – but at least it’s staying). I also love getting kisses from my girls.

In Christ – we are called to love others – even as we love ourselves. Jesus was asked what were the greatest commandments – and part of His response is to love our neighbors – those around us – even as we love ourselves. Matthew 22:39 – And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

But the greatest commandment – as recorded in today’s passage – is to love the Lord our God – with our everything – our all. Deuteronomy 6:5 – And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. It is found in Matthew 22:37-38 – 37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

How much do we love God? Do we love God with our all? Do we love God more than we love ourselves? Do we love God more than any other? How do we show our love to God? Do we say we love God – but fail to follow through with our actions? Jesus said – John 14:15 – If you love me, keep my commands. How well are we keeping the commandments of God? How do we think our obedience to God is revealing our love for God? Are we walking the talk?

My prayer today – even as we look forward to the #2020Elections and the #GC2020 (General Conference 2020 for the UMC – United Methodist Church) – is that we will strive to love God with our all and that we will strive to show that love by being obedient to His commands. Saying we love God and not following through with obedience might be empty words. What do you think?  Let’s show God our love by our obedience to His Word – His Commandments. While showing love to God – let us also show love to one another – even to those we disagree with on issues. Let’s show love – God’s love – to one another! God and His love are more important than our ideology – our theology – or even our own lives.

Join me in praying for the USA and for the UMC. Both have major elections in 2020 and both need our prayers. Pray also – that we can show love even to those who are on different sides on the debates raging for both. 2020 will be a time when love is needed more than many years. Let’s begin now – practicing our faith by loving one another.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

September 24, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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