What would it take to insure that when we meet God in eternity he would greet us with, Well done good and faithful servant. (Matt. 25:21) Possess a deeper prayer life? Witness more to the lost? Give more money? Disciple more and better? Be more faithful in our time with God? Etc., Etc.
Doubtless, we all have an ideal in our mind to which we feel we should attain. Yet most of us would readily admit that we feel we are falling miserably short of that ideal.
So what is the bottom line as to what God expects of us? Jesus summarized it in stating: All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments: (Matt. 22:40)
1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matt. 22:37,38)
2) Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt.22:39)
Nothing more and nothing less. Jesus castigated the Pharisees for adding more than 600 of their man made laws to Gods laws. And guess what? We may be guilty of exactly the same thing. (See Col. 2:16-23)
What does it mean to love God?
1) Obey his word without equivocation: Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." (See Jn. 14:14; I Jn. 5:3)
2) Maintain your first love for God: John wrote to the church at Ephesus: I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. (Rev. 2:2-4) (See Eph. 1:15)
What does it mean to love others as ourselves? Get serious about becoming the essence of Jesus love toward others as explained in I Corinthians 13. (See Jn. 13:34, 35) Perhaps the two most powerful illustrations of that love in the Scriptures is:
1) Jesus:Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! (Phil. 2:5-8)
2) The Good Samaritan, who was: (Lk. 10:25-37)
Aware of the needy around him. (vs. 33).
Willing to put his life at risk for others. (vs. 10:30)
Willing to make the necessary sacrifices to minister to those in need. (vss. 34,35)
Now, I am writing to gifted, accomplished people who know how to make things happen. Could it be that such folks tend to pile drive their way through the day from one task to another? They have their agenda and by jibes, it is gonna get done! But what about the broken, needy people God places in their path? Are they learning to slow down, and be prompted by the Spirit to observe and become involved at whatever the cost? (See Matt. 25:31-46)