This guest post was written by a dear friend and ministry partner of mine, Brenda McClure. She’s agreed to come alongside me this year and regularly write guest posts for us! Isn’t that awesome? Did you know you could guest post, too? If you have an idea or would like to submit a post, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our two commandments in the New Testament are still in my heart.
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. -Mark 12:30 (NLT)
Simply put, love God in every way possible. The second is equally important:
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:31 (NLT)
No other commandment is greater than these. And again I ask myself, “How do we love others as ourselves when often we don’t truly love ourselves?”
Do I believe that I deserve blessings? Do I believe that I deserve mercy and grace? How can I want others to receive them when I don’t believe I am able to receive? Don’t take me wrong….we will never deserve blessings, mercy, and grace. The very definitions of them don’t lend toward me deserving them. So, I can ask, “Do I believe I should receive blessings? Do I believe that I should receive mercy and grace?”
When we see someone receive a blessing, do we get jealous and wonder why it wasn’t for us? Or, do we help the blessing to go further for the person? Matthew 5:41 (NIV) If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Notice, that the first mile may not have been what I wanted to do. But, if I decide to go the second mile, that is because I didn’t take offense and leave grumbling. I decide to ACT out of love and do more than I was demanded to do.
Based on the verses around Matthew 5:41, I’m not sure that I believe that I have to be the one who goes the first mile. If we see someone do the first mile and take off in offense and leave grumbling, can we take up the second mile? 5:47 (NLT) If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. Our actions will define who we are.
Dearest Loving Father, please help me to accept the message of the cross for myself. Help me to accept the grace and mercy given to me because of Jesus’ death. Show me the places that I can offer kindness and blessings to others so that they will see you in me. I ask this in Jesus’ name
Brenda McClure is a massage therapist and owner of Couples Touch of Love, a ministry seeking to heal marriages through the teaching of biblical touch. Brenda has a heart for seeing relationships healed and brought back to the fullness that God designed them to be.