Your love of God is revealed through your love of the person you love the least

By REV. ROYCE LOTT,

In our previous ministry location of George County/Lucedale, MS I was privileged to write, by invitation for a local newspaper, The George County Times, for over seven years.

The monthly op-ed column was of a faith-nature and was at times controversial because truth is not always painless.

Nonetheless, truth is necessary. So, I am honored to now have the privileged opportunity of writing a monthly faith-based column for The Yazoo Herald.  I do hope that you find benefit from it, but moreover, it is my hope that it will encourage all of us who claim a foundation of faith to LIVE as if we are alive in Christ as the year 2018 unfolds.

So, here goes!

I shared this statement with my congregation recently, "Your love for God is revealed through the love you exhibit towards the person you love the least."

Let that soak in for a minute.

From Christ's story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10) to the parallel image of Christ's return and our place in His Kingdom (Matthew 25:31 and following verses), we read that we who claim to be blood-bought, Spirit-filled, born-again believers have a clear mandate for living. In Matthew 22, verses 37-40, Christ Himself speaks that everything in The Word, from Genesis to Maps, hinges on two things - a right love relationship with God and loving others.

In counsel one day, a lady with whom I was sharing began to weep as I spoke of what it meant to be in an intimate, personal, passionate love relationship with the King of the Universe, and thus a restored relationship with our Creator God. As I inquired regarding her tears, she simply said, "I have twenty-seven years of perfect attendance pins from participating in Sunday School at my church, and this is the FIRST TIME anyone has ever told me about a love relationship with Christ. I've always seen God as some Holy Tyrant, waiting to strike me down because of failure. Legalism, being able to check all the boxes on an envelope every Sunday and feel as if I had gotten more right than wrong, was all I've ever been taught about 'serving God'."

Friends, as 2018 begins it is my hope that we who claim to be the Body of Christ will begin to live as He instructed, live, as my son wrote the song, "Live Out Loud!" 

We battle denominational, racial, cultural and socio-economic segregation every day in this county. It's a fact, so why shy away from it.

Nonetheless, the fact remains that WE (again qualified as those who claim to be blood-bought, Spirit-filled, born-again believers) have no choice but to LIVE differently that the status quo surrounding us. Our lives reflect an image of Christ!

We shake our heads in dismay wondering how people can do this or that when we read of tragic incidents, drug use, crime, destroyed homes and more.

Nonetheless, if we are not DOING something to see a movement of God turn the tide of that which flows as social behavior around us, we are not living up to our calling, and we are prostituting the love relationship we claim is Holy in our lives.

Dead people live like dead people. This should not surprise us! How can they be alive in their actions if they don't know life Himself!? 

Likewise, if we are alive in Christ, why then do we act like dead people who've never tasted the goodness of a gracious and merciful, loving Savior?  -  Now make my beginning quote a personal statement, and begin to set right those things which imply that you might be living in an unfaithful manner with your First Love - "MY love for God is revealed through the love I EXHIBIT towards the person I love the least." – If WE are the Body of Christ, then YOU AND I have much to do this year!