‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.’ [Matthew 22:36-40]
Coming back from a mission trip, I was convinced that missions was the ultimate goal in life – to preach the gospel to all nations so that the end will come, as is promised in Matthew 24. After talking with a friend about our different mission trips, he told me that the idea of a Christian going on mission trips is redundant, since the definition of being a Christian should be missions. Christian = missions. However, after a few weeks of discerning what my heart felt burdened to write about, I’ve seen how our calling is even simpler than that.
Jesus didn’t call the Great Commission ‘great’ in Matthew 28; that was something we humans added, and is an important distinction. Let us not make great what God Himself did not call great. What did Jesus call great? The greatest commandment of all: Love the Lord your God with all our heart, soul, and mind. With everything. Through everything. In everything.
Upon the first great commandment depends the second great commandment of loving our neighbors as ourselves. When we love God, we know Him. We know His heart and begin to see other people as God sees them – as His precious, beloved children worthy of our time and love. Only after these two commandments to love do we have all the other commandments – on these two commandments depend all the Law. Without the great commandment to love God, we have no reason to obey anything else He tells us to. Especially not the commission to make disciples of all nations; everything in our being tells us to stay where we are, wrapped in comfort and selfishness. We are called to do missions because we love God and we love others. The kingdom of God is all about relationship, not numbers. Let that be our focus in every mission field we encounter, whether at home or abroad.
Jesus, You have me completely,
Every breath that I breathe.
I am absolutely in love.
Jesus, I am Yours forever.
All of me surrenders.
I am absolutely in love with You.
[‘Absolutely’ – Starfield]