Our theme for this month: “Take care of each other”
Our Bible verse for today: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” Matthew 22:37-40 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “It’s not that complicated.”
This morning I want to return to our subject of the last two days about taking care of each other by living by the Golden Rule, as Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:12. Just treat others as you would want them to treat you if the roles were reversed. In Matthew 22:37-40 (above) Jesus taught that same point again and he paired it with the statement to love God with all your heart. That’s it – just love God and love other people and you’re good-to-go.
Jesus was a great simplifier. He uncomplicated things and distilled them down to easily remembered and easily followed principles. We find other examples of this kind of simplification in both the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament prophet Micah wrote in Micah 6:8: “Mankind, he has told each of you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
In 1 John 4:19-21 the Apostle John wrote, “We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother and sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And we have this command from him: The one who loves God must also love his brother and sister.” So, it’s not complicated; it’s not hard to understand. Love God and love other people.
The other day I came across a wonderful statement written by Phillips Brooke, who was a Christian author and songwriter in the mid-to-late 1800s. He urged us to: “Be such a person, and live such a life, that if every person were such as you, and every life such as yours, this earth would be God’s paradise.” That’s great advice. Live the life you wished everyone else was living. Stop trying to fix everyone else and focus instead on being the be the best “you” that you can be. Love God, love people, and you’re good-to-go. It’s not that complicated.