The Three Greatest Commandments

It’s Wednesday and so it’s time again to discuss Richard Stearns’ great book, The Hole in our Gospel. After you read my post, please make sure to go by my friend and co-facilitator, Jason’s site, Connecting to Impact, to read what he and our other friends have to say!

Chapter 5 – The Three Greatest Commandments

When we arrived to our first morning of VBS in Kapoeta, Sudan, the very first challenge we had to face was how to communicate with the children. They were curious. They wanted to see and hear what the funny-looking white women were going to do and so we had a pretty captive audience.

Between the three of us, the Alaska girls (Ann and Nancy) and me, we remembered enough sign language to express one simple, yet profound scripture:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.”

According to Richard Stearns, it’s the “Bible for Dummies.”

                “Love God. Love your neighbor.”

I might dumb it down even further to what my evangelist friend John Hobbs says:

                “Love God. Love people.”

We’re a family. All of we who call ourselves ‘Christians’ are a family. We love God and we love each other. The more we love God, the more and the better we love each other. We nourish and nurture each other. We cherish and treasure each other. We pray for and correct and console each other. We meet each others’ needs.

But we can’t just stop there. There are too many people who haven’t yet found their way into the family. There are too many empty bedrooms in the mansion. There are too many hurting, hopeless, hungry, helpless people out there who have no one to nourish and nurture and cherish and treasure them. They have no one to pray with them or correct them or console them. They have no one to meet their needs. And worst of all, their hearts have a hole in them where Jesus is longing to come in and heal and live.

Aren’t you glad someone helped you find your way into the family? Who are you going to help find their way into the family today?

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  1. I’m so glad. It was a combination of my dad, mom, and grandmother. They all loved me when I was an even bigger idiot than now.

  2. Sarah Salter says:

    Michael, I’m glad you’re part of this big family with me, too! You’re such a huge blessing!

  3. For me it was a neighbor that I just moved next door to…we are still friends 40+ years
    later. The Gospel is simple and I thank God for that.

    Thanks Sarah!

  4. Hi Sarah,

    It was also a combination of people for me. Not growing up in a christian environment, God placed people in my path throuhout my life to share their story and God’s word with me. He is still doing it today. YOU are a blessing to ME!


  5. Sarah Salter says:

    Jay, I love that! You’re still friends this many years later. That’s awesome! Jesus’ blood is thicker than water, my friend! We’re bound together with His love. 🙂

  6. For me it was a young Hispanic who sadly I do not even remember his name… but I do remember his love for me and the abuse he withstood to share God’s love for me.

    Thank God for His love and his love…

    Because of His great love, he picked me up…

    It’s my turn to share the love.

  7. I grew up in the church, so, I wouldn’t say there was ONE person who really did it. But, I would say that until I began working for Pioneers, I don’t think I had a passion for God. Working day to day with people who truly lean on God, pray for things openly, and follow the Spirit’s leading is exciting and intriguing!

  8. Sarah Salter says:

    Dusty, that reminds me of a song that’s sung by the Martins. “Out of his great love, he picked me up and set my feet on a sturdy rock. Out of his great love I learned the meaning of salvation out of his great love.” 🙂 And yes, it’s our turn to share the love.

    Brian, I understand that completely! Iron sharpens iron and so with you being in a passionate, faith-filled environment is going to challenge you to be more passionate and faith-filled. And you’re going to challenge us to follow suit. I love it!

  9. I grew up in and around church, went to a Christian school, etc. I am so thankful for every person who prayed, spoke encouragement, taught me the truth, and cared. I’ve heard so many talk disdainfully about those “sheltered Christian kids” and I’m more and more thankful for that sheltering every single day. Don’t know how I got off on that, but thanks Sarah. 🙂

  10. Sarah Salter says:

    Jason, that “sheltering” helped make you into the man of God you are today. The fruit shows. It reminds me about several years ago when I overheard a conversation with a pastor-friend of my Dad’s. A man came up to him and said, “Brother Tyson, how can you afford to send your three girls to a private Christian school?” Tom looked at the man and said, “Brother, how can I afford NOT to?” Now, with that said, I went to public school and I think I turned out okay. But it sure would’ve been nice to have been more sheltered. For sure! Thanks, Jason! I never mind you taking us down a little bunny trail. 🙂

  11. I believe many people planted seeds, then in His time, God chose an internet contact in Alberta (while I was a Chicago suburbs dweller) to reap what so many had sown.

    This is perhaps why I believe so strongly that God is recaliming the world wide web for His purposes and His glory!

  12. Dacia Bryan says:

    For me it was the children’s director at the Church of God. We’d only been attending for a few months and it was actually ‘Hallelujah Night’. She took the pre-teens in a separate room and showed us a video about a young boy in the Soviet Union w ho smuggled Bibles to an underground church by hiding them in the basket of his bicycle. I remember thinking as a 12 year old, “there is nothing so important in my life that I would risk my life for.” And when the invitation was given, I gave Him my whole heart … and never looked back.

  13. Sarah Salter says:

    Karin- Amen! If you’d told me in 1996 (when we first got on the internet at our house) that I’d be doing ministry online, I’d have called you crazy! But God redeems and uses anything He wants to, to reach the world.

    Dacia- That’s awesome! And you remember how we met when y’all were doing Evangelism training with the youth during breakout sessions at Camp? Don’t give that up just because you’re doing it alone now. You have a calling on your life, Sister! Keep sharing the love!

  14. Yes, I am humbled and overjoyed that God considered someone like me worthy of His life. I have a few friends that I’ve been “present” for, and pray that one day soon they’ll choose Jesus for themselves. Incidentally, our church passion statement is: Love God, Love One Another, Pass It On… just a simple restatement of what we are called to do.

  15. Herb:

    Love that passion statement (even love the idea of “passion statement”!

  16. Sarah Salter says:

    Herb, when I saw The Passion of the Christ, I watched Jesus carrying the cross and sobbed through an entire pack of Kleenex. My shirt was soaked all the way down the chest from snot and tears. And the thought that kept going through my mind was, “I can’t believe someone loves ME this much. I’m so not worth this!” But to Him, He does and I am. How can I NOT share that love? How selfish could I possibly be?

  17. Sarah Salter says:

    Mary, thank you for coming by! We haven’t gotten to tweet much lately and so it’s just extra good to see you here! Your story is an excellent example of how some plant the seed and some water, but God brings about the growth. I pray He’ll keep putting those people in your path. 🙂

  18. My parents were the ones who planted the seeds. Many people have nurtured those seeds (and pruned the plant! OUCH!!) along the way. 🙂

  19. I’m with Helen. My parents planted the seeds… then held the tender plant as it grew. I’m hoping to be as wonderful as they are someday.

  20. Sarah Salter says:

    Helen & Duane- How awesome that God blessed you with such loving, Godly parents! That love that’s grown & is growing in you is evident to the world. You bless us with it! Thank so much!

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