Sunday, November 21, 2010



Once you have committed to the first five agreements, you are ready to step into action-authentic action. There is a fundamental principle that is completed in the sixth agreement. The sixth universal agreement I believe that any follower of Jesus from any cultural background can embrace in order to walk together in unity, no matter the lesser disagreements, is to SERVE EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE.

There are three occasions when Jesus talks about the most important commandment ever given to man. What's interesting is Jesus is unable to give just one commandment, but consistently shares two as equally important. Let's examine each instance. Matthew records the first: "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 foremost commandment. "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'" (Matthew 22:36-40)

Jesus sums up with an astounding observation about these two commandments: "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." You just don't get any better than this. Jesus is saying these two inseparable commandments are the foundation-the underpinning-of the entire Law and the Prophets. The Law and the Prophets amount to the whole truth God has given. It's all about loving God and loving your neighbor!

Mark records the second instance: "What commandment is the foremost of all?" Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.' "The second is this, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these." The scribe said to Him, "Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that HE IS ONE, AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE BESIDES HIM; AND TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE ONE'S NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." (Mark 12:29-34)

Note the summary response Jesus makes in this instance: When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." In other words, if you embrace these two commandments, you are practicing the very things that bring you near to the presence of God-the Kingdom of God!

Luke records the third instance: And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?" And he answered, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." (Luke 10:25-28)

So, if you get into loving God and loving your neighbor, you are at the core of all God's truth and you are near to the Kingdom of God. Now, Jesus adds one more observation: And He said to him, "You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE." This time Jesus says if you embrace these two commandments, you will know what it means to really live!

In all of these teachings Jesus presents His most basic truth. There are two directions a follower of Jesus comes to understand. The first is vertical-to love God with all of your heart. The second is horizontal-to love your neighbor as yourself.

Here's the way it works. You cannot have one without the other. John wrote some terrific thoughts on this in his little letter called I John. He wrote: Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. And then he said: Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. We love because he first loved us. If we say we love God yet hate a brother or sister, we are liars. For if we do not love a fellow believer, whom we have seen, we cannot love God, whom we have not seen. And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love one another.

Once Jesus has transformed your heart, you will know your next move automatically. Your love focus will be on God through Jesus first and then you will have a whole new desire to love others. It's the natural context for your life and that context is in relationship to others.

Two things automatically overflow out of your relationship with God's love. FIRST-you will tend to radiate that love that is within you. A new sense of peace, joy and hope and a new heart of love for others will emanate from you. You won't have to do anything to get this sense of radiation; it's the evidence of being transformed inside out. This is a personal thing and only you may know it.

SECOND-you will tend to resonate with others. This is the horizontal or social dimension of being transformed by the love of God. To radiate will be an internal experience; to resonate is an external expression of your heart. To resonate will require that you make some decisions. There are only two kinds of pains in life-the pain of discipline and the pain of regret. You get to choose which pain to endure.

When I was in total control of my life without following Jesus, I used to think resonating the love of God to others took a technique or some unique methodology. But now that I am simply following Jesus and allowing Him to lead out with His orders and His opportunities, I have found that resonating God's love is so much easier than I had ever imagined. It all happens in the context of serving people-serving everyone, everywhere. Now this kind of service isn't directed by your agenda, but by theirs.

So, here's how it works best. To serve everyone, everywhere, simply ask the question, "What can I do to help?" If you practice asking this question and mean it, you will be activated immediately. At the moment you get an answer from anyone, anywhere, you will find yourself serving everyone, everywhere! Think it over!