36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
A class at SEBTS teaches, “We are called to both the vertical and horizontal injunctions simultaneously, however, we can often become lopsided in our pursuit.”
It is certainly possible to become lopsided in our pursuit of fulfilling the Great Commandment. However, God commands that we love Him, as well as those in our community. This extension of love both vertically and horizontally can be seen by observing the life of Christ. We see it in His obedience and in His desire to fulfill the Father’s will. But it can also be seen in His constant desire to save, to heal, and to help those most in need.
When we place our hope in the things of this world, we will always be disappointed. As Christians, we know that we will encounter pain and suffering during our time on earth. But we also know that there is no prayer that God can answer; nothing that God can give us in this world that is more important that what has already been done for us on the Cross. It is because of this that we can hold firmly onto God’s promises, and we can know that all of our trials and difficult times are temporary.
Through Gates of Splendor
I had heard of the book, “Through Gates of Splendor,” by Elisabeth Elliot, for many years before I finally read it. I finally purchased and read it because it seemed like a book that, as a good Christian, I was supposed to read.
Because I had heard about the book and the story of the missionaries so often, much of it was already familiar to me. Nonetheless, the book is a classic for a reason.
The story of the five men and their families who took the whole, “go therefore and make disciples of all nations,” thing literally is not just immensely touching and inspiring, but it is also an example of true discipleship. It is the testimony of a group of Christians who believed that their sole purpose was to glorify God by keeping Christ’s disciple making commandment. Denying self was not just a theory or something to read about, it was their way of life.
In a letter written on September 22, 1950, Ed McCully expressed to his friend about his desire to serve God. He wrote, “I have but one desire now —– to live a life of reckless abandon for the lord, putting all my energy and strength in it.” Along with the stories of these amazing missionaries, it is this quote that will stick with me for the rest of my life. It is an astonishingly bold statement, lived out in an astonishingly bold life.