Meet Ivan. He is Alex Kaggwa’s younger brother, and he is Seggy’s “best buddy” in Masaka. His mother has AIDS and Ivan does, too. Seggy described Ivan by saying, “He is jolly all the time–like Mark of Uganda” 🙂
You may notice Ivan’s distended belly. That’s not a full belly, that’s a malnourished belly. He’s not wearing underwear underneath that shirt, because underwear is for the rich. And it looks like he would enjoy a nice warm bath.
The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14
What does this command REALLY mean?
If I loved my neighbor as myself, would I not feed him as well as I feed myself? Would I not give him the same medical care as I provide for myself? Would I not shelter him as well as I shelter myself? Would I not spend as much on him as I spend on myself?
If there’s any question as to how we are to love, Jesus “upped the ante” in John 13:34 when he said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.“
Loving how Christ loved…that means we’d be willing to give up our very life for our neighbor.
How should we love Ivan? How should we love Jesus? Loving Ivan IS loving Jesus according to Matthew 25.
For the sake of Ivan, for the sake of the 720 children who died from hunger during the time it took me to write this post, for the sake of our profession of love for our Savior, for the sake of our witness to a watching world (they will know we are his disciples by our LOVE), we need to take a good hard look at this command and whether or not we are keeping it the way Jesus wants us to.
I think the hard truth for most, if not all, of us is this: We do love our neighbors, but we love ourselves more. And that’s NOT what we want!
When Jesus comes back for his bride, we want to be filled with the fruit of righteousness! We don’t want to be found lacking. We don’t want to be ashamed. We want our lives now to bring glory to God…so let’s take some radical steps of obedience. Let’s love like Jesus loved!
What does this mean practically? It means we’ll have to cut back, sacrifice some things, deny ourselves, sell some stuff–maybe even big stuff like houses and cars and boats and “toys” and other valuable assets we may have–SO WE CAN LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS LIKE JESUS LOVED US!
Jesus gave up the riches of heaven, and for your sake and my sake became poor…utterly poor. Why? He did it so that by his poverty, by his sacrifice, we might become rich in eternity. Wow. 2 Corinthians 8:9