All That Matters :: By Holly Spate

Love God.
Love Others.
Share Jesus.

These three things mean everything. These three things are all that matter.

Interestingly, all three require action.

There is nothing in life that matters more than loving God, loving others, and sharing Jesus and His gift of salvation. Nothing!

Simply put, it IS what life is all about. As Christians, we should be anchoring our lives to those three pursuits. There truly is nothing that means more or matters more than these three.

Matthew 22:37-39 states: “Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

1 John 4:19 states: “We love because He first loved us.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 describes what true love is. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

1 John 4:16 says, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

When love is referenced, it is a love for all of God’s creation… even (gasp) our enemies!

I have to admit, praying for and showing love toward those who we may consider to be our enemies is very difficult sometimes. More often than not, our flesh is weak in this area. It’s not always easy to want to do the right thing concerning those who have hurt us, whether intentionally or unintentionally. It’s difficult to pray showers of blessings over those who may not be our best friends. But God commands us to do so.

He makes it very clear in His Word. Matthew 5:43-48 states: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

John 14:23 states: “Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves Me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make Our home with them.'”

WOW! These verses are clear and convicting. Walking this truth is something so many of us have a difficult time putting into practice, but if we love our heavenly Father and want to do His will, we’re called as His sons and daughters to just do it.

Remembering all God has done for us personally should make it easier to extend that love to others… even those we might have considered our enemies. We’re also to remember that God promises to walk beside us and to remember the truth that nothing is impossible with Him… nothing!

1 John 4:7-11 drives this point home. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

This verse should pierce every believer’s heart and bring conviction. It should also bring us to tears as we remember the lost state we each were in until God stepped in, cleaned us up, put a new heart within, gave us the Holy Spirit, and made us a new creation. He transformed us because of His unending, merciful, gracious love. His sacrificial death on the cross brought us all life.

Stop for a moment.

Pause and think about what He’s done for YOU personally… specifically.

Think about the state you were in before He came knocking on your heart’s door… before you accepted His beautiful, perfect gift of salvation. How did you feel… hopeless? confused? angry? broken?

Now, take some time to really think about the seeds that have been planted in your life. Think back to the people God used to bring encouragement… hope… truth. Think back to those times in your life when people invested in you for the good… planting seeds and watering seeds already planted. Think of those God brought to you who tilled the soil. Take time to really focus on the little and big miracles that had influence and pointed you to the truth. And let your mind and heart remember the tugging you felt when the harvest was ripe and Jesus came knocking at your life’s door.

What He did for YOU and how He’s cared for you in your life’s journey is truly remarkable.

He not only sought YOU out, He’s cleansed You from all Your sins (past, present, and future). He’s paid Your debt in full. You’re called a joint heir with Him. He is right now busy preparing a place for You in heaven. He has given You a hope and bright future that no one can ever take away from You. He loved You enough to save You. He loved You enough to die for You. He loves You forever with an everlasting, unfailing love and promises to never forsake you but to always, always be with You.

He created You, knows You and loves You.
He did it all for YOU.

As His child, He calls you to love Him with your whole heart. To love as He loves and, in turn, to extend kindness to those who you may not feel deserve it. Let’s get real… do any of us deserve God’s greatest gift… His salvation and beautiful gift of inheritance all believers are promised? Did we earn it? NO! It is a miraculous gift given to all who choose to receive it. God desires for all to be saved… all!

Perhaps remembering the condition we were in when God met us and worked His miracles in our lives may spark more of compassion and stir our hearts to embrace action and begin to pray for our enemies and to show God’s love to them. We’re called to be His hands and feet to a lost world.

Our love for God and gratitude for all He’s done in our own lives should naturally stir our hearts and compel us to willingly obey His commandments and, without question, extend love to others.

As His children… His joint heirs… we have the privilege to show His goodness, love and mercy to those we meet along life’s journey. It is an honor to serve our great God and should be an honor to pray and introduce others to Him.

Put simply, if we love God, we will live out our lives loving others. If we love God, we will share Jesus.

It is a decision. It is a commitment. And it is a command.

As you journey today, my prayer is that you will leave behind those things that don’t matter and focus on the three things that do:

Love God.
Love Others.
Share Jesus.

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Praying the following poem brings encouragement as you focus on what matters most and hold close to Him.

Fill This Life by Holly Spate

Fill this life with You, Oh Lord
Bring love overflowing to quench this soul
Beautify my existence with Your warmth
Making my heart Your home.

Let men see Your beauty
Through each action and each word
Let Your spirit lead me in peace
May I be guided daily by Your voice
Never straying from the path You have planned for me.

Instill within discipline so I may be an effective disciple
Make my heart merciful so I may show kindness and love to all You’ve created
Humble my existence so that pride may have no hold
Give me wisdom and knowledge so I may know how to approach life’s challenges
Enable me to cherish and appreciate all I’ve been given
Never wanting, always giving thanks.

May I feel Your warm embrace, close and constant
May I be a vessel which brings You honor
May Your example be that which I mirror
May each day guide me closer as I walk in Your light and protection
May I cling to You and You alone
My only hope in which to find true life.

Fill this life with You, Oh Lord
Bring love overflowing to quench this soul
Beautify my existence with Your warmth
Making my heart Your own.