The Royal Law, Part 2

Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well…James 2:5, 8

Love your neighbor as yourself. That is the royal law, the commandment of the Kingdom of God. The trumpets sound, and the King says, “Go and love.” That’s the warriors’ command from the King. The trumpets sound, and Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as yourself, and then love God with all your heart, soul, and mind.”

Alright! So go love your neighbor. That’s your war cry. Go out of the Kingdom’s gates, figure out what is wrong with your neighbors, and love on them. Don’t worry about having the means to help your neighbor. Trust God for that! When you need help, send word to the King. Tell Him, “We’re filling a need here, and we need more resources.” He’ll provide what He needs to provide.

RoyalLawImagine this as if it were a movie about medieval Europe. The King’s forces have gone to war, and there’s a moment when the tide of battle seems to be turning against them. They realize, “We need more men!” What do they do? They send word to the King that they need more men. What does the King do? He provides more men!

We can use the same mentality, and show the same trust for our King. We are His children! And as members of His family, we say, “I am a part of God’s Kingdom. I am going to go forth to fulfill the royal law. I’m going to get on my horse and go out of that gate and into the world. I’m going to love my neighbor, and when I do that, I’m going to represent the Kingdom of God.”

You do this whether you already have the resources lined up or not. You begin even if you don’t have any money. Just send word to God. Pray. Tell Him, “I need a way to get more money.” He will give it to you. Jobs will open up. Maybe a donor will come along and offer to help you. Trust God in this. He will provide what He needs to provide.

The Bible says we’re all royalty now. This is what it means to be holy and righteous. This is what God means when He says, “You are mine now.” You are His child. And as a child of the King, you are a prince or princess of the Kingdom.

More on this next time. See you Monday.

Jesus Loves Sinners

Jesus was the epitome of self-control. He could hang with drunks and all kinds of sinners and not get angry with them.

Think about it. When Jesus got angry, it was not with sinners. Jesus got angry with the people that claimed to be followers of God, and yet deceived other people. That was when Jesus had zeal and righteous anger. He said, “You people are the ones who caused me to get angry. Not the sinners. You. Why am I angry? You go around saying that all these people are not worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven because they’re not as good as you. Not as good as you? You are evil! You’re more evil than the sinners are. You’re whitewashed tombs. You’re a brood of vipers. You know those sinners you look down on? At least they admit that they stink. Those sinners I hang out with say, ‘You know, I am a drunk.’ Or, ‘Yes, I did commit adultery.’”

woman-at-the-wellLook at what happened when Jesus met the woman at the well. He asked her, “Where’s your husband?” And she replied, “Well, I don’t have one.” And He said to her, ‘Well, you’ve had five. And the one you’re living with now? You don’t even know his name.” And what did she say to Him? She said, “You’re right!” She didn’t run in shame! She just admitted it. She came right out and said, “Yeah, that’s who I am.” And God said, “Now, here’s where I can love on you.”

You see? I used to think that Jesus could hang out with sinners because He’s God, so He’s loving and forgiving. He knew their sins before they did, so He was able to work with it. That is true, but now I realize that the real reason He could hang with sinners isn’t all that complicated. Jesus just flat out loved His neighbor as Himself.

The only way you can love your neighbor as yourself is to love on him with grace and trust. You cannot love your neighbor if you don’t trust him. You can’t! And I’m not talking about blind, foolish trust. I don’t think you should say, “Hey, I don’t know you, Joe Blow, but I’m going to tell you my deepest, darkest secrets, and here’s the code to my house, and my bank account number.” That’s not the kind of trust I’m talking about. I’m talking about trusting that your neighbors are human beings. They will fail like human beings. They will not add up. That’s what people do. That’s what we all do. Human beings don’t add up, and we fail. We mess up, because we don’t all live by the Spirit all of the time.

Being able to trust people is difficult. Giving grace to people instead of burying them in judgment is very difficult, but it becomes easy when you trust God. Trust pleases Him. Without faith, it is impossible to please him!

More on this next time. See you Thursday.

And He Will Return

“I love you.”

I see the homeless guy, and I love him. I’m going to help him if I can. That’s being Jesus. That’s the movement I’m asking you to join. It seems simple, and you might think, “Of course, that’s how I was raised,” but most of us still don’t do it very well. I don’t do it very well. There’s so much more I could do to love my neighbor as myself. I keep trying!

The movement to love our neighbor as ourselves is stirring. It is stirring in this world. It is awesome to see.

I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes Americans forget that there’s any other country out there. Continue reading

The Antidote to Misery

A lot of baseball players are millionaires, but even so, we can experience misery. We can buy two, or three, or four cars. We can buy boats. We can buy houses. But we figure out pretty quick that money doesn’t make things joyful. And if you don’t know how to use it, it can give you more headaches. Continue reading

Your Neighbor is Hungry!

When I first started learning about the love-your-neighbor-as-yourself mentality, my spirit grabbed it. I mean, I was really excited. I said, “This is it!”

But then when God started teaching me about poverty, I really started digging. I’ve been researching poverty ever since. Poverty is a whole world of interconnected causes and consequences. The more I learned, the more I understood poverty’s complications, and the more I understood how people get trapped in it. And I could feel myself shifting.

I used to look at a homeless guy and say, “Man, you know what, how about you just go get a job. Shave, and go get a job at McDonald’s. It’s not that hard.” That’s how I used to look at it. I had no compassion. Continue reading

Why Did You Feed Me?

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 2 Corinthians 2:14-15

I would like to encourage you to think about your purpose in life. It took me a few years to figure out mine. Perhaps I can save you some time! After a lot of frustration and failure, and many conversations with God, I learned that my purpose for being on earth is to love my neighbor as myself. This is a mentality that will change your entire life. Continue reading

Imagine the Success of Love

But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”

He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Matthew 14:16-20

In the early years of my baseball career, I was not fulfilled. I was not fulfilled as long as I was just saying, “I’m a Christian,” and then going and playing baseball. I didn’t feel good. I didn’t understand my purpose for being here on this earth. I didn’t understand, because my purpose is not to be a baseball player. Continue reading