A Legacy of Loving God Completely

Our stewardship focus this year is on A Living Legacy. In its basic meaning, a legacy can be seen as what we leave behind for the next generation. Our legacies can be money, property, life lessons, examples of living, ways of communicating grace etc.… The important thing to understand is that we are always leaving behind a legacy; either a bad one or a good one. In figuring out how we leave a lasting legacy of faith we begin with examine this idea of loving God completely. When asked what is the greatest commandment (a question that can be understood as how can I best serve or worship God) Jesus answers with “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 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’ (Mark 12:30).

It seems to me that in a world that has a shallow view of love, a self-centered grasp of the meaning of life, and often upholds (or at times worships) an abusive narcissistic attitude towards relationships; demonstrating true sacrificial love is one of the greatest legacies we can leave behind. Simply put, the world needs to see healthy images/examples of love. Our world is consumed with telling love stories. But the greatest love story ever – the story of Jesus sacrificing himself so that we could have a new life (and be the people God created us to be) often is dismissed or drowned out. People need to see and hear this story over and over again. The more they see people who love God with their whole heart the more our story of love can shape their own attitudes and views.

We face our own difficulties in this endeavor. Namely, we are so used to living for ourselves that it has become hard to love God with our whole heart, mind, and soul. The two main ways we learn how to love this way are 1) by living and loving in community with others (i.e. being in a church) and 2) by making a choice to love (regardless of our feelings). We must uphold this value – of loving God wholeheartedly – above all others values we hold dear. Allow it to guide us and consume our energy. Loving God with all we have needs to move to the top of our priority list and be at the center of our dreams and accomplishments.

Imagine what this would look like. A small group of people devoted to loving God and each other, it has happened before! The first church in Jerusalem got hold of this idea and look what happened to them. People flocked to them by the thousands. Our society is turning away from the church because they feel the church is irrelevant and unusual to them. The way to change that is to show them what they are missing. Now that would be a great legacy to leave behind. A legacy of loving God completely!

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