Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ray Boltz- "I will choose to Love."

The Simplest Commandment

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." I Corinthians 13:13 (N.I.V.)

How great is Faith?  
It is huge.  Just a grain of Faith moves mountains.

How great is Hope?
It is giant.  Hope is the optimism that life is worth something more then our everyday struggles.

How great is Love?
Love Is The Greatest!  Love is so important to Christ that it is His simplest yet most important commandment.

Here is what Jesus says in Matthew chapter 22 about it:
37" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' " (N.I.V.)

This verse shows us the basis of Christ's ministry and message here on Earth.

Here's a visual to consider:
First, we love our God.  This love goes from us on Earth to our Father in Heaven.  
Picture it as a straight line up and down.
Secondly, we love our neighbor.  This love goes out from us to those around us.  
Picture this as a straight line from side to side to our fellow human beings.

When we are showing the love that Christ commanded it forms a cross, one line up and down and one line side to side.
True love ends and begins with the Cross.  It is, after all, God's single most amazing act of love to us.

Our Faith is in the cross.
Our Hope is in the cross.
And, greatest of these, our Love is in the cross.

As a gay Christian it can be easy to get caught up in what others say about us.
Hearing what seems like hatred from various Christians can make it hard to love them.

But, remember this, we are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves.
It might not always be easy but it is the only way to live a life of Hope and Peace.

When you encounter Christians who don't understand how you can call yourself a Christian if you are LGBTQ, or who preach hell fire damnation because of it, remember that we are called and commanded to love them.

How do I love someone who is preaching against me with their words and/ or actions?
First, I forgive them.
Next, I pray God will soften and change their heart.
Finally, I pray that God will show me the good in them and help me to love them.  I pray that He will help me not judge them just as I don't want them judging me.

Why do I need to love someone who is preaching against me with their words and/ or actions?
Simply put, we love others because Jesus first loved us.

Christ did not die just for those who would later honor Him and respect Him.

No, he died for everyone.  

This includes the ultra religious of His day and Ours.  
He died for the close minded and the people who cling to religion and tradition instead of relationship.
He died for people who hated him and always will hate him. 
He died for people who hate us and may always hate us.

In dying on the cross and then resurrecting for us all He showed us how to "Love your neighbor as yourself."

If He can commit this act of mind boggling selfless love for those who abused, tortured, and killed Him, then we can follow His example and show love for those who have abused, tortured, and killed those in our community.

We must Forgive those who hurt us.
We must Pray for those who knowingly and unknowingly harm us.
We must Love those who don't want our love.

Why?  Because Christ first loved us.  He told us to Love our neighbors as ourselves.

It is His simplest, sometimes most difficult, and greatest commandment.

Remember God Loves and Accepts You!
Until next time,