Are All The Ingredients There?

Although all of my culinary skills remain undeveloped, sometimes I use a box of premixed ingredients to produce a cake. After adding eggs, vegetable oil, and water, I stir it all up. To bake a palate-pleasing cake, it is important that you have the correct balance of the proper ingredients. This helps me to picture the relationship of the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:36-38) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) as I attempt to spread the gospel.

When Jesus told His followers to go and make disciples of all nations, He did not give them permission to be rude and uncaring as they did so. His own citing of the "first commandment", to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind-was instantly  followed by the call to "love your neighbor as your self" (Matthew 22:37-39)  As we look closely throughout the New Testament, we see this model of compassionate, respectful living restated over and over again, including "the love chapter" (1 Corinthians 13) and instructions to Peter to give a reason for the hope within us "with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15).

In our eagerness to share Christ with others, we must always include a healthy balance of those two ingredients-the true gospel and godly love. This wonderful cake will bake best in the warmth of God's love Lord, help me to love with both words and deeds, to reach out to sinners and meet their needs; Lord, burden my heart for those lost in sin.

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