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Love All, Serve All…

June 10, 2015

“Love All, Serve All.”

For those who are old enough to remember when the Hard Rock Cafe first opened their doors, this was their mantra. A battle cry, if you will, for all who walk through their doors to love everyone they come into contact with and make the world a better place by adding their gifts and talents to the mix for the betterment of all humankind. While the food at HRC can be marginal at times, their mission (including the building of a hospital with the revenue from the sale of the business and subsequent brand licensing in 1989) has always been stellar.

Although their business and philanthropic practices are built on the five Vedic Values of Hinduism, there is something the church needs to hear in this: the mantra of “Love All, Serve All” is not just a Hindu value… it is a Godly value as well.

Matthew 22:34-40 [NIV] – Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

As we love God with all we have and all we are, we are also commanded to love our neighbors. Loving our neighbors also means loving those with whom we have heartburn.

Matthew 5:43-47 [NIV] – “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

Luke 6:27-31 [NIV] – “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

If the words of Jesus weren’t already enough, Paul goes on to state this in a different way.

Romans 12:16-18 [NIV] – Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Hebrews 12:14 [NIV] – Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Ephesians 4:1-3 [NIV] – As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

In other words, if we want to truly show the miraculous change God makes in our lives to the world, we “Love All, Serve All” in a way that allows that change to be seen. Problem is, that’s really hard to do when the world only sees what we are against and who we dislike.

Brennan Manning stated it quite eloquently when he said, “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”

Church, if we spend our time continuously railing against gay marriage, Caitlyn (Bruce) Jenner, President Obama… if we keep calling for boycotts of newspapers, magazines and theme parks… if we continue to treat people differently because of the color of their skin, their financial disposition, their past mistakes… all people will know is what we are against when what they REALLY need to know is who we live for.

All of us have been made in the image of God. All of us are loved by Him. All of us have the same opportunity to embrace salvation or to reject it. The question is, will the Church follow Jesus’ command to love and serve, or will the Church deny that command for the sake of trying to fill the pews with people who look exactly like we do?  The Word doesn’t say they will know we are Christians by our t-shirts, buildings, bumper stickers, bullhorns, signs, bracelets, concerts, revivals, or movies.  It says they will know we are His followers by how we love one another.

John 13:34-35 [NIV] – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

May we love as Christ loved us, and as He has called us to love the world. “Love All, Serve All.” Amen.

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