I know I’ve told you this before but it bares repeating. When our kids were little we didn’t have a lot of “rules” for them to follow. Just one, be obedient. That summed it all up “in a nutshell”.
It’s hard to remember a whole list of things isn’t it? It’s nice when things are simple and concise. That’s what I love about God’s word.
A Pharisee came to Jesus one day and was going to try and trip Him up on biblical teachings.
“The Pharisees learned that Jesus had made the Sadducees look so foolish that they stopped trying to argue with him. So the Pharisees had a meeting. 35 Then one of them, an expert in the Law of Moses, asked Jesus a question to test him. 36 He said, “Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?”
37 Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and most important command. 39 And the second command is like the first: ‘Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself.’ 40 All of the law and the writings of the prophets take their meaning from these two commands.” Matthew 22:34-30 ERV
Did you see what Jesus said? ALL the law and writings of the prophets can be summed up in these two commands. Doesn’t get much simpler than that – Love God and Love People! We just have to be obedient. That’s the teaching of the Bible “in a nutshell”.
Years ago I heard a story and I’m not sure if it’s true or just an illustration but no matter, it certainly brings home the point of love.
A businessman and his associates were waiting in an airport to board their plane and head home after attending a week long conference. The men were in one of the small cafes when they heard the boarding call. They quickly paid their tabs and hurried out into the corridor heading for their gate.
In their rush they overturned the table of a young woman who was selling apples to the travelers. The men rushed on without looking back, all but one. When the one man looked back he saw the damage that they had done and the young woman who had been selling the apples was in tears. He left his traveling partners and returned to the assist the young woman they had so rudely upended.
He set up the table, centered the basket on it and then began collecting the apples that had fallen to the floor. It was then that he realized the young woman was blind. He apologized for their rude behavior and offered to pay for all her apples knowing that no one would want to buy them now. He placed enough money in her hands to pay for 3 or 4 baskets of apples, made another apology and was walking away when he heard her call out to him.
“Mister, do you know Jesus? You’ve been so kind…it’s just like what I think Jesus would do.”
There have been many times when I have been in situations that require me to stop what I’m doing to care for others and I have a couple of choices, ignore the situation, get frustrated by the inconvenience or serve out of genuine love. I haven’t always acted like Jesus but I’m working on it.
The great thing about God is that He always gives us enough love for every situation. We never run out, it never comes to an end.
“Treat others just as you want to be treated. 32 If you love only someone who loves you, will God praise you for that? Even sinners love people who love them. 33 If you are kind only to someone who is kind to you, will God be pleased with you for that? Even sinners are kind to people who are kind to them. 34 If you lend money only to someone you think will pay you back, will God be pleased with you for that? Even sinners lend to sinners because they think they will get it all back.
35 But love your enemies and be good to them. Lend without expecting to be paid back. Then you will get a great reward, and you will be the true children of God in heaven. He is good even to people who are unthankful and cruel. 36 Have pity on others, just as your Father has pity on you.
37 Jesus said: Don’t judge others, and God won’t judge you. Don’t be hard on others, and God won’t be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you. 38 If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return. It will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap. The way you treat others is the way you will be treated.” Luke 6:31-38 CEV
So, to sum it all up “in a nutshell” if we love God with all our being He fills our hearts with His love and we can then love others, no matter how unlovable they may seem.