The real question is

As the events keep escalating between Hezbollah and Israel, combined with the multitude of crises in the country of Lebanon, which are producing an unprecedented scale of opportunities for ministry. I was reminded of a comment a friend of mine made a few years ago. My friend asked a question that has stuck with me to this day. The question sums up how we are expected to live and act as followers of Jesus Christ. If we would only ask this question in every situation, we find ourselves in and then act on it – well, the world would look a lot different.

The question is, “What does love require of me in this situation?” This simple question sums up what Jesus declared to be the greatest commandment of the law and the prophets (“Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind”), and His command for the new covenant (“Love your neighbor as yourself”) (Matthew 22:36-40).

You can apply this question in every situation as you go throughout your day, just like we do in Lebanon. It will change your interactions with people. It will help you navigate the many opportunities that come your way. By the way it has also driven me crazy from time to time and it will you as well.

The reason is it will cause you to do difficult things when you really do not have “time for this” or “just do not want to”. You will find yourself giving up more and more of who you are, so you can more effectively love others. It won’t be easy, and you will feel your grasp of control continuously weakening. But then, isn’t this is the goal of our lives? We are to “give it away.”

It is obvious what love required of God. His love required Him to send His only Son to be born on earth and to live and die as a human so we might have a way to salvation. This was, of course, the ultimate expression of love. It sets a high standard for us. Today our responsibility is to ask, “What does love require of me in this situation?” As we answer this question positively, modeling the love of the Father, we continue the mission of Jesus.

Practically, when we see someone in need, we should not walk by, we must ask, “What does love require of ME here?” as it pertains to the needs of the individuals God places in our path. Or when you are engaged in a difficult conversation, we need to mentally pause and ask “what does love require of me” for what the next words from my mouth should be. You get the point.

Let me end with this; God loves you so much He sent His only Son to die in your place. He sent Him to live a life of humility and servanthood, setting the example for how we must live each moment of our lives. I will never comprehend the love of God or how it is that God is love.

Unlike us, love isn’t merely something God expresses, it’s the very essence of who He is. God cannot help but do what love required of Him to do. We, on the other hand, must answer the question “what does love require of me” moment by moment as we travel through our day. So, there no better time to start than right now, right where you are. What is love requiring of you right now?

Together We Are Better!

Tom Atema