The Power of a Simple Invitation
A church was hosting a Vacation Bible School. Gary, a faithful church member, told his coworker Joe about the event knowing he had a young son. Joe’s son Joey attended VBS that week and had a blast! More importantly, Joey heard the Gospel and trusted Jesus! God began working in the life of Joe’s family. They began attending the church. Just a few months later, Joe would also trust Christ. His family would never be the same.
In Matthew 22 Jesus is teaching when the Pharisees and Sadducees decide to tangle with Him. Throughout the chapter He would shut one group down and the other would pipe up. Verse 34 tells us Jesus “put the Sadducees to silence,” so the Pharisees saw their next opportunity and put forth a lawyer–one with great understanding of the Law of God against the Author of the Law.
The lawyer asks Jesus “…which is the greatest commandment in the law?” (v. 36). Without hesitation, Matthew records Jesus’ reply of “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” (v. 37-38). Jesus takes it a step further by saying, “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (v. 39-40).
The entire law. The entire Old Testament. All 613 Jewish laws. Hang them all on these two commandments–love God and love others. Sift life through that filter. Order your actions by those directives. With that teaching in mind, here are three practical thoughts to help you apply these principles:
Love God. Love Him with every beat of your heart, every part of your being, and every thought of your mind. How would your life look differently if everything we do was filtered through the lens of loving God? Imagine the impact on our attitudes, stress level, and thought life.
Love Others. I have heard it said that “Our love for God is authenticated by our love for others.” It is easy to look out for ourselves. It takes effort to look out for others. This thought convicted me–can I be identified as a follower of Jesus based on my treatment of others?
Share Jesus. The best way to live these verses is to tell others about Jesus. What greater way to love God than to share His love for others? What greater way to love others than to tell them about God’s love? Invite that friend to church. Share the Gospel with that family member. Tell your coworker about your small group.
Remember that story in the introduction? Joe is my dad and Joey was my oldest brother. As of this writing, my brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and countless family members have trusted Christ. That can be traced back to one simple invitation from a coworker. Never underestimate the value of a simple invitation!