Love One Another

Sin is sin no matter how we categorize it, but the sin that matters most is intentionally denying God and refusing to accept Jesus Christ as Savior. This also includes blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29). The consequence of this sin is eternal death. But what about those who don’t know they are sinning against the Trinity? Jesus not only had something to say about the person committing this type of sin, but he also had something to say to the forgiven person.

Jesus often taught in parables. It was his way of speaking truth without overtly speaking the truth or calling out specific individuals. He would speak in parables, and the Holy Spirit would reveal bits and pieces of what Jesus was saying to exactly who it needed to be revealed to. In one particular parable about the Lord’s coming, Jesus spoke of a master who was absent from his home for a period of time and the servant’s actions while the master was away (Luke 12:35–48).

In the parable, Jesus said that the servant who knew exactly what was expected of him should do what was right while the master was away and be ready for the master’s return. Jesus said some would choose to do other things—wrong things—and lose the trust of the master resulting in severe punishment. However, Jesus said that the servant who didn’t know but then did something wrong would be punished lightly (Luke 12:48). In a twist, Jesus said a more severe punishment would be levied upon the one who knew as opposed to the one who didn’t know. Some may say this isn’t fair.

The ones who are saved and working unto the Lord have a higher responsibility upon their lives than those who are still wandering and lost in this world. Jesus said so. Lost people don’t always know they are lost, and until we stop treating the lost as if they know they are acting outside the will of God when they don’t even know God, our judgmental attitudes toward them will only push them further and further from Christ. For some unknown reason, God entrusts people to be messengers of the Gospel. His lost children are the “much” believers have been entrusted to reach and care for in Luke 12:48. God loves his much so greatly that he sent his only son for all the world (John 3:16).

We hold the lost and unconverted to a biblical standard they know nothing about while at the same time violating the biblical standard we should know all about. Jesus held nothing back when He reached the lost. Nothing. He wasn’t afraid of what people thought or the standard customs of the day, and he didn’t care whether people would respond positively to the hope he extended. He loved anyway. The One who is the Word spoke the Word to all never holding back from anyone. The ones who responded were often those with childlike faith. They were the ones who knew their lack and need and knew the One who stood before them who read their mail as He read their hearts. Oh, if we all could be more like Jesus who focused on all the right things.

During his final farewell, Jesus gave the disciples a new commandment, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). What would this love do? Jesus said that if they loved each other, it would prove to the world that they were His disciples (John 13:35). Jesus didn’t tell them right away to go out and love everyone. He started with their small circle. He said to the eleven gathered around the table, “Love each other.” If we can get love right within our small circles first, we have a much better chance of living love everywhere we go. Jesus’ love was apparent everywhere He went because He is love (1 John 4:8). He loved the disciples as much as any sinner or sick person he came across. He even loved all the religious leaders who wanted him dead. The miracles Jesus performed might have been the reason some initially followed, but it was His love that caused people to stick around. When you are with someone who has that much love for people, it is hard to stay away.

For Noah’s wicked generation, God sent a boat. A boat is but a vessel made of wood with no ability to love. For our generation, God sent a person bursting with love. Jesus came from God the Father in Heaven who has a love we can’t even begin to fathom. God loved the world—this broken, sinful, dirty, and disobedient world—so much that He sent Jesus to save the world He created. No other prophet or king before Jesus could express this kind of love. Only Jesus could, and the crazy thing is, Jesus said that every single follower of Christ could and should love people the way He loves people. Do we utilize this amazing miracle to its fullest potential?

___________________________________

Every once in a while, I find myself thinking about “what-if?”. What if Jesus hadn’t radically transformed my life and sent people into my husband’s life and my life to help us and disciple us? Where would we be now?

Do you ever have these thoughts? I talked earlier about remembering where you came from but we also need to focus on the where we are going and why we are going there. Jesus said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and…” (Matthew 6:33). We need to start our every day seeking God’s will.

Very few things in life stand out as mile markers—you know, those moments in life where you can see a fork in the road so clearly and as you look back at that exact moment, you realize that God was there before the fork in the road, at the fork in the road and with you on whatever road was chosen.

For us as a family, one of our mile markers is a man by the name of Mike Fechner. Matthew 6:33 was his life verse. In everything he did, he sought the kingdom of God first. He laid down his life for others—especially for those people who many would never take an interest in. Although Mike was from a predominantly white suburb and at one time a pastor on staff at a predominantly upper-middle class white church, Mike felt a burden for the people in the inner city. These were his people.

Mike knew what it felt like to not feel welcomed. During his high school years, Mike’s father was stationed in Hawaii. While that sounds like a dream opportunity for most of us, it was a place and a time in his life where he experienced racial hatred. He was a “howlie” and the locals didn’t particularly care for howlies. God can and will use our pain and life experiences if we allow Him to, and God did exactly that with Mike. Mike knew the only thing that could bring people truly together was love. He was determined to love as many people as he could for as long as he could.

Solely by a God-ordained appointment, my husband met Mike several years ago. Their first meeting took place shortly after Mike was diagnosed with Stage Four non-smoker's lung cancer. At the time of his diagnosis, the doctors gave him eighteen months to live (he ended up walking this earth for a little over five years after that first diagnosis). That God-ordained meeting led us to eventually see Mike share his testimony at the church where he was a former pastor on staff.


That one meeting changed the trajectory and legacy of our family forever. And wherever my testimony is shared for my days on this earth, Mike’s name will be a part of it. His legacy of faith, endurance, perseverance, suffering and taking up his cross daily will live on long past my days.

Mike’s life and legacy shifted the kingdom of darkness into light. Not because Mike was Mike, but because he was willing to be broken, bruised, battered and serve out of complete obedience and surrender to the Lord. We should all live with that mindset. We should be more consumed with pushing back the kingdom of darkness and ushering the lost into the kingdom of God.


I know without a doubt Mike was ushered into the presence of God with the words, “well done good and faithful servant” because he sought the kingdom of God first.


Mike was like a spiritual father to my husband, and Mike was a spiritual father to many others as well. He was the kind of guy that would give the shirt off his back for someone in need regardless of your age, color, or life situation. There isn’t a day that goes back that someone I know doesn’t mention Mike’s name. He was that kind of a guy.

___________________________________

But you know what? We all can be that kind of person. We can all love better. We can all love differently. If we seek first the kingdom of God, we’ll know in our hearts there is room for everyone in His kingdom. Jesus said, "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to” (Luke 13:24). Right after that, Jesus said the door wouldn’t be open for very long. Eventually, the Master is going to close the door. The sad reality is that many people won’t ever enter the pearly gates of heaven. They will be banished into the abyss of hell and long-suffering. It’s not their fault necessarily. Maybe it is our fault. Maybe we aren’t sharing the Gospel enough. Maybe we don't love people consistently enough. Maybe we say we are “Christians,” but then we post or re-post ugly social media comments. Sometimes what we are feeling shouldn’t be made public. It should be taken directly to the One who can reconcile and cleanse our hearts.

Because you are not witnessing, many have not heard the Gospel. They will be eternally separated from God. What a consequence of our apathy! It is time for us to put feet to our faith.
                                         - Watchman Nee, church leader in China during the twentieth century

Did you see what Watchman Nee said in his statement? He said that people would be eternally separated from God because of our apathy. He didn’t say it was because of God’s anger or judgment. He said it was because of us—Christians—who fail to do the work for any number of reasons.

The crazy thing about God is that He chooses to use humans to be the carriers of the Good News. Jesus’ thoughts were always and will always be on eternal things and so must ours. If we choose lives of comfort over compassion, there will be consequences. People will die without reconciliation with their Father. They will leave this earth as a spiritual orphan even though the Father desperately wanted to adopt them into His forever family. We are never responsible for the outcome; we are only responsible for our obedience. We can’t force or coerce someone into accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior. But God knows exactly who He is drawing to Himself through His Son (John 6:44).

We’ve got to see every person that comes into our lives, and even those that come across our screens, as an opportunity for adoption. If the Holy Spirit nudges you to speak, speak. If the Holy Spirit nudges you to smile, smile. If the Holy Spirit nudges you to pray, pray. Eternity is at stake, and the stakes are high. Don’t ever be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Don’t ever be ashamed to be a messenger of the Gospel. You hold the key to life in your heart. Offer this key to someone else as much as you can, for as long as you can, for as many days as you can. As my friend recently said, “Do you want to be remembered for the title you hold or the things you accumulate or do you want to be remembered through people’s testimonies of how you impacted their lives and made a difference in their walk with Jesus?”

Christian, you and I have much work to be done in this world. There are spiritual orphans everywhere. They are hurting, lonely, sad, angry, depressed, and misguided—even if they don’t think they are. Be the hands and feet of Jesus and help this generation. Intercede for this generation. The Lord can heal our land, but it first starts with people. Love them where they are until they can figure out who they are in Christ.
* Excerpt from Spiritual Orphans: A Generation in Crisis (Erin's upcoming book).

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

Recent

Archive

 2015 (42)
 February (1)

Categories

Tags

#Emerge #LiveUnashamed #TurnOffTheDark 'Tis the Season 1 Corinthians 13 1 Peter 3:18 1 Timothy 1:12-16 180 the documentary 1973 1and3 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 2015 2016 Vote 2016 40th Birthday 62nd National Day of Prayer 63rd National Day of Prayer 8 A Few Thoughts About the Starbucks Red Cup A Generation in Crisis A Savior is Born A Shining Star Aaron Abbott and Costello Abraham Acts 16:31 Adultery Advent Calendars Advent Devotional Advent Wreath Advent Agape Alabaster Jar Alaska Airlines Albaster Jar Albie Pearson All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten American Church Ami Chapman Anglican Church Annie the Movie Are You Hurting Your "Friends"? Are You Hurting Your "Friends"? Ascension Ash Wednesday Ashley Madison Asma Al-Assad Assemble Aurora Auror Austin & Ally Autumn Awaken Band-Aids Baptism of the Holy Spirit Barak Bashar Al-Assad Bathsheba Be a Voice for the Voiceless Beautiful Gate Being Fed Beirut Attacks Bethel Music Bethseda Better Days Are Ahead Bible Fellowship Bible Museum Bible Study Bible Billy Graham Bishop TD Jakes Bitter Cup Blogger Boaz Bobbie Houston Boko Haram Born In A Manger Boston Marathon Bride BringBackOurGirls Brittany Maynard Burdens Busyness C.H. Spurgeon Caleb Castille Calling Canada Casting Crowns Catherine Mullins Change Charles H. Spurgeon Charles Spurgeon Charleston Church Shooting Charleston Chasing the Dragon Chick-fil-A Chicken Child Choose What is Better Christ-follower Christine Caine Christmas All Year Long Christmas Christy Nockels Church Climb a Tree Coffee Bar Colossians 3:13 Comfort Zone Comfortable Community Confirmation Content Cool Christianity Coop Corrie ten Boom Country Club Craving God Ministries Creation Creator Cross Crown of Thorns D.C. DIY DOMA Dads and Daughters Dads Daily Devotional for Lent Daily Devotional Dallas Damascus Dandelions Darkness Darlene Zscheh Daughters Of the Deep Daughters Days of Elijah Deborah Defiance Deliverance Democrat Demon Possessed Man Dennis Bratcher Desensitization Deuteronomy Devotional for Lent Devotional Disorder Dominican Republic Don't Act Like a Chicken Donald Trump Doubt Dr. Tony Evans Dry Bones Dylann Roof ED Commercials Earthquake Easter Eight Practical Tips Election 2016 Election Elephant in the Room Elohim Emanuel A.M.E. Church Emanuel AME Emerge: It's Time To Turn Off The Dark Emerge Emerging: Out of the Shadows of Voluntary Darkness Emerging Emily Lett Empty Tomb Encounters Entertainment Ephesians 1:3 Ephesians 2:8-9 Ephesians 2:8 Ephesians 6:12 Epiphany Erin Olson Erin Olson Dallas Erin Olson Sandalfeet Erin Olson Erin and Scott Olson Erin Esau Esperanza International Evangelism Explosion Evangelism Exodus 1:17 Ezekiel FORGIVEN If we are forgiven why can’t we forgive? How you can know if you are living in unforgive Facebook Live Facebook Faith Fall Family Relationships Family Fasting Father's Day Father's Day Festival of Unleavened Bread Fetter Firing Squad First Fruits First Great Awakening For Your Glory and For Me Forever 21 Forever Forgiveness - Unforgiveness : Revealed Through Your Fruits Forgiveness - Unforgiveness: Revealed Through Your Fruits Forgiveness Bible Study Forgivenes Forgivness Four Friends Friendship Friends Fruits of the Spirit Fruits Fruit Galatians 5:22-23 Garden of Gethsemane Gather Your Neighbors Gather Gendercide General Revelation Genesis 3:15 Gentleness George Zimmerman Gerasenes GetOurGirlsBack Gideon Gifts Give Credit To Whom Credit Is Due Give Gluten-Free God With Us God is Love God is With Us God is good God's Not Dead God's Will God's Word God Golden Chord Good Friday Goodness Grace Greg Laurie HIS Bridge Builders Habbakuk Haitian Earthquake Haiti Happy New Year Harvest America 2016 Harvest America Harvest What Does it Mean? Harvest Hate He is Risen Healing Heart Heaven Kissed the Earth Hebrews 10:14 Hebrews 10:24-25 Hebrews 12:1 Heroes of the faith Hillary Clinton Hillsong United Hipster Christianity His Redeemer Lives His Revelation Holy Spirit Holy Week Homeschool Home Hope Defined Hosanna in the Highest House of Prayer Human trafficking Hurricane I Can Only Imagine I Can ISIS Immanuel Impatience In N Out Instagram Intercession Intercessory prayer Isaac Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah 9:6 Isaiah Israel It Takes A Village It'S Time To Turn Off The Dark Jack Graham Jackie Pullinger Jacob Jael James MacDonald Jehovah-Jireh Jen Hatmaker Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah Jerry-Maguire Jessie Jesus Movement Jesus Revolution Jesus is the Reason Jesus is the reason for the season Jesus' miracles Jesus' will Jesus Jim Cymbala Job 23:10 Job Joel Osteen John 10:10 John 14:6 John 15:1 John 3:16 John 8:12 John Hagee Join With The Angels Jonah Joy To The World Joy Judge Deborah Karen Wheaton Kari Jobe Kickstarter Kids Ramp Kindness King David King Herod King Hezekiah Kingdom Community Kirk-Cameron Lakewood Church Laodiceans Laodicea Las Vegas Leadership Lent Daily Devotional Lent Devotional Lenten Devotional Lenten Season Lent Let it Be Jesus Life Light In the Dark Light of the World Light Lioness Arising Lisa Bevere Listen to Him Liv and Maddie Live Unashamed Living Under an Open Heaven Lord's Prayer Lord's Supper Lot's wife Love Luke 10:42 Luke 11 Luke 2:46 Luke 2:7 Majestic Inspirations Majesty Malachi 1:2 Manchester Mandisa Manna Marathon Marilyn Monroe Mary Anoints Jesus Mary Magdalene Mary and Martha Matthew 12:21 Matthew 20 Matthew 21 Matthew 28:19 Matthew 5:9 Matthew 7:24-27 Mat May 7th May 7 Middle-class Mike Fechner Miracles From Heaven Miracles Missions Moms Mom Mordecai Moses Mother's Day Motherhood Motrin Movies Museum of the Bible Museum Music Muslim My Hope America with Billy Graham My Hope America Names of God Narrow Gate Narrow Path National Day of Prayer National Prayer Walk Your Neighborhood National Prayer Walk Nehemiah Neighborhood New Beginnings New Year NewSpring Worship Niagara Falls Nigerian Schoolgirls Nigeria No Longer Slaves Notes Obedience Oceans Of Mess and Moxie Office Shooting Olive Branch Olive Oil Olson On the Day of the Solar Eclipse One Thing is Necessary One Year Later Open Heaven Operation Christmas Child Oregon's Death With Dignity Act Palm Sunday Parables Parents Pareto Principle Paris Attacks Paris Passion Passover Pastors Patience Peace On Earth Pecking Order Pentecost Perfect Timing Peter Pick up Your Cross Planned Parenthood Podcaster Podcasts Podcast Pool of Bethesda PowerPoint Praise you in the Storm Praise Prayer Closet Prayer Room Prayer Works Pray Preparing for the Harvest Presence of God President Obama Presidential Race President Prestonwood Baptist Church Prestonwood Devotionals Prestonwood Easter Prestonwood Pregnancy Center Prestonwood Women's Ministry Prestonwood Priceless Priscilla Shirer Pro-gay Prodigal Son Promised Land Proverbs 10:12 Proverbs 22:6 Proverbs 31 Psalm 118:1 Psalm 121 Psalm 31:19 Queen Esther Race Racism Rahab Raised to Life Rashness Red Cup Reinhard Bonnke Repent Republican Repurpose Reset 2016 Revelation 4:8 Revelation Rick Santorum Robert Fulghum Robin Hill Lane Robin Williams Roe v. Wade Romans 4:7-8 Romans 8:28 Ronnie W. Floyd Rooster Ruth SCOTUSA SYATP 2015 SYATP Sabbatical Year Sabbatical Samaritan's Purse Same-Sex Marriage San Bernardino Sandafeet Sandalfeet Blog Sandalfeet Ministries Sandalfeet Minsitries Sandalfeet Santa Claus Santa Satan Scarlet cord Scott Olson Dallas Scott Olson Scott and Erin Olson Season Second Coming of Christ Second Great Awakening Second Kings See You At The Pole Self-control Senior Adults Senior Church Goers September 11 Serve Sex trafficking Sexual Abuse Shame Share the Message Shifting the Entertainment Atmosphere Sifting Silence Silent Night Simeon Simon Simplify the Season Sisera Sit At His Feet: Choose What is Better Sit At His Feet: Choosing What is Better Sit At His Feet Social Media Sodom Solar Eclipse Solemn Solomon Sound The Trumpets Special Revelation Spenser Olson Spirit Rising Spiritual Atmosphere Spiritual Food Spiritual Needs Spiritual Orphans the Book Spiritual Orphans: A Generation in Crisis Spiritual Orphans Spiritual Warning Signals Sprint Stand United Star of Hope Starbucks Start Serving Stop Complaining Stay Gold Stepping Out of the Boat Stormie Omartian Storms Storytellers Stress Strongholds Supreme Court ruling Surrender Syrian Conflict Syria TD Jakes Temple Construction Temple Temptation Testimony Thankfulness Thankful Thankgiving Thanksgiving The American Humanist Association The Gathering The Great Commission The Katinas The King is Among Us The Mission of Motherhood The Ramp The Sisterhood The Tabernacle The Waiting Place The Weeping Prophet Theophany Third Child This I Beiieve Thomas S. Kidd Three Wise Men Time with God Timing Tony Evans Trafficking Transfiguration Trayvon Martin Triumphal Entry Twelve Days of Christmas Unashamed Unbelief Unforgiveness United 2015 Uzzah VBS 2012 VBS Vacation Bible School Valentine's Day Vessel Vicky Valle Victor's Crown Virginia Grounds Virtual Academy Voice Institute Voluntary Darkness War Room Washington We Are Called to Forgive Weekend Project Weeping Prophet Whale What If What's in a Name Wheat and Weeds Who's on First? Wide Gate Wide Path Will You Stay Silent? Wise Men Woman at the Well Woman-at-the-well Woodlawn Word for the Year Word of God Word of Life Words Works Worship Music Worship Writing in the Sand Wubble Bubble Ball Wubble Bubble Yahweh Yes You Can You Are Not the Boss of You Your Love For Us Youth Zacchaeus Zechariah 9 Zechariah abortion adoption authenticity author baby names blessing blog blood moons category 5 hurricane child abuse child trafficking children conversation depression divorce family family vision statement family mission statement stay-at-home mome flu epidemic flu vaccine flu forgiveness four blood moons fruit of the Spirit garth brooks governor abbott hand of God hand-of-god heroines hope housewarming shower hurricane harvey kinsman Redeemer lost lukewarm marriage media ministry mobile sonograms mustard seed myhopeamerica.org nasa nineveh orphans orphan pandemic parable of the mustard seed parenting peace persecution prayer prestonwood baptist choir pro-choice pro-life prodigals prophecy pythonic-spirits python radical obedience radical reconciliation revival sadness sharethemessage.org spiritual-warfare steps of salvation stomach virus thanks the Bible the Seed the gift of conversation theatre shooting this blood time in His presence tragedy trials trust unanswered prayers unplanned pregnancy waiting widow's oil workplace ministry