Friday, January 10, 2014

A Right Heart

"He answered, '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 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Luke 10:27

A lawyer, testing Jesus with his questions, asks what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus replies with two questions of His own: What is written in the law? And, how do you read it? Verse 27 (above) is his reply, to which Jesus tells him he answered correctly.

What the lawyer describes is a heart that is first, right with God. And second, right with others. The first, loving God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, represents a vertical relationship with the Father. It's what enables me to live in right relationship with Him. (The key to salvation is to be in relationship with Christ.) In this place my wrongs are confessed, my sins are forgiven, my trust is in Jesus, and my life's energy is focused on my God and the things He has called me to do. The second, loving my neighbor as myself, represents horizontal relationships. It is striving to live in right relationship with those around me; those in my sphere of influence in as much as it depends on me. In so doing I want to reflect Christ with my words and actions as I interact with others. I'm not perfect in this by any means, but it is my deep desire to honor the Lord in this way. When I am wronged, I must choose to forgive so my heart is right with God and towards the offending person, whether or not they ever receive it. It also means meeting the needs of others according to my means as God makes them apparent. In short, it's having a right heart with God and loving others the way I want to be loved -- in a way that looks like my Jesus.

Father God, Thank You that my name is written in heaven. Today and every day please help me to live in right relationship with You and with those in my circle of influence. I want my life to be a genuine reflection of my relationship with You. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

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