Daily Devotional – Tuesday, November 16, 2021
"And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31, NLT)
This year, I am going through Oswald J. Chambers devotional book, “My Utmost for His Highest.” In today’s entry, he ended his thought with, “Our human relationships are the actual conditions in which the ideal life of God is to be exhibited.” As I got thinking about it, it would seem to me that we could go so far as to say that the quality of our relationship with God is tangibly demonstrated in our relationships with people—family members, friends, our neighbours, and the strangers we meet every day. The proof of our relationship with God is shown in how we interact with others…both the ones we enjoy and those we find more challenging.
How can we say we understand God’s love and forgiveness if we choose to withhold either from certain individuals? How can we pretend to be in God’s ‘good books’ when we don’t extend generosity and compassion toward strangers? When we refuse to obey God’s command to love others as we love ourselves, we cannot claim to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength…no matter what we say to the contrary.
There is no way around it. The depth of our love for God is demonstrated through our relationships with others. No, not everyone will be kind to us in return, but that’s not the requirement that concerns God. He wants us to love our enemies and pray for those who mistreat us…regardless of how they respond. Why? Because it doesn’t matter how they respond. What matters is that we show people a better way—the way of God—which requires a good deal of humility and submission on our parts…the very qualities that took Jesus to the cross on our behalf. He didn’t whine about how unfairly He was being treated, He simply continued to show people the way to God. He continues to do so through His followers. How well we continue His work to the world will in large part be determined by the quality of relationship we enjoy with our Saviour and the Father.
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!