“Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?”
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” -Matthew 22:36-40
Everything in God’s law hangs from the command to ‘love others as you love yourself’ and ‘love God’ with everything in you. You have to consider how you ‘love yourself’ and how your view of yourself is affected by your view of God.
I’ve heard people say that they have no problem believing in grace for someone else, but are unable believe it for themselves. You either believe it or you don’t. I don’t understand the reasoning behind it. It appears to say that they hold themselves to a different standard than they do others. Self-contempt may appear to look submissive, however, it’s anything but. They can quote the scriptures about grace and God’s unrelenting love, but their inability to believe it for themselves has a well shrouded root of pride. They require a better performance, a higher standard, than their Creator.
It is impossible to carry out the most important commandment, the Love Law, for others when you can’t do it for yourself. You’re just detached enough from the others to not have any of yourself invested in them, and therefore can offer an aloof and meaningless statement of grace and love.
Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? -James 2:14
I can tell people all day long that it’s possible to flap your wings and fly. I can write books on the technique, attend seminars and quote the mantra’s but, unless my words are put in to action, they’re meaningless.
If you believed it, you would do it. God pours Himself in to you and that’s the only way you have anything to pour out. If it’s not in you, then you’ve just learned language and are calling it faith.
Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? -James 2:17
No one can believe for you just like you can’t believe for someone else. It’s fundamental hot air. A dirty exhaust pipe polluting the air with meaningless smoke. It’s lukewarm God spit.
You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove. -James 2:18
You cannot love others if you do not love yourself. You cannot offer grace to others if you don’t accept it for yourself. You cannot love God with everything in you when you’re holding back because of your failures. You are a walking corpse who cannot do anything unless you believe in what God has done for you. You can say that you believe, but if you can’t take the action to accept it, then you’re still dead.
Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands? -James 2:19-20
I realize that, if this hits close to home, it may feel uncomfortable. I won’t apologize for the way it makes you feel when there is the chance that the truth in these scriptures can cattle prod you into the life you so desperately want. You, in and of yourself, may be right about you. Maybe you’re a mess of unlovable. Thank God your worth is not up to you. If you’re here, you have a purpose. You have to understand the way God sees you. You were made with intent. The gift of grace is Jesus’ way of making sure you are not ruined by you. Learn lessons from your failures, not self-hate.
When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. -Romans 5:20
“Here is a test to find whether your mission in life is finished: if you are alive, it isn’t.” -Richard Bach
“To put away aimlessness and weakness, and to begin to think with purpose, is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment; who make all conditions serve them, and who think strongly, attempt fearlessly, and accomplish masterfully.” -James Allen
“Existence is a strange bargain. Life owes us little; we owe it everything. The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose.'”-William Cowper