In Matthew 22 a lawyer approaches Jesus and asks what the most important law is. What does it all boil down to? What is the most important command in the entire bible? Jesus quotes Deuteronomy and Leviticus in a one-two punch of pentateuch proportions, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love God. Love people. That’s it. That’s what it all boils down to and should be the primary focus and aim of our lives. This axis of love prioritizes our lives, and the first informs the second. As we spend time in our loving relationship with God, he clarifies our mission to love others, to love our neighbor, to love strangers. Our “neighbor” is the family living next door and the family living on the other side of the world. Romans 12:13 and Hebrews 13:2 use the Greek word “philoxenia” which means showing love and hospitality to strangers.
I am grateful that you have embraced loving God and others, and have shown love to strangers on the other side of the world. Your love and investment has started churches in remote villages, provided education and care for children and orphans, and empowered families to escape extreme poverty through small business loans. Thank you for your love and generosity.
May we love God and others well, embracing both our next door neighbor and the stranger on the other side of the world.