One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! TheLord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
If someone asked me to describe Radius in one sentence, I would say something like,
Radius seeks to love God and it's neighbors.
One thing that has become abundantly clear since the inception of Radius is love. I'm not talking about the, "we're so glad you're here" kind of love on Sunday morning. I'm talking about real, deep love that moves people to action.
I've seen so many examples of people going out of their way to love their neighbors.
Families are making and taking Love Lunches out to the community every Sunday in huge numbers; so much so that people who don't know Radius Church by name, still know of the 'peanut butter and jelly church.'
I've seen people taking time out of their busy schedules to sit down and eat lunches with their neighbors. I've seen families help get their neighbors off the street and into housing. I've seen people cooking meals for their neighbors who are sick.
Radius is visiting hospitals and volunteering at food pantries, shelters, and charity organizations.
And that's just what I have seen. There are so many unseen acts of love going on that we don't even know about.
Radius Church isn't a place. It's not a building. There is no physical address. Yes, we have a location where we gather, but that's just for Sunday. The church is the people, and it is the people that make Radius so great. It's the choices we make on a daily basis that define the successes and failures of Radius, not the number of people who show up on Sunday.
So what does it take to love your neighbor?
You have to be willing to be inconvenienced. For some of us, that's the hardest thing to do. We are all busy. We all have 'stuff' going on in our lives that we need to deal with. We have responsibilities that have to be taken care of. Loving your neighbor might mean being a few minutes late to work because you helped your next door neighbor get his car started so he could go to work that day.
You have to be willing to be involved. Loving your neighbor takes a commitment. It's not something we can check off our ToDo list and be ToDone. It's going to take effort to love. It might mean committing to a cause on a monthly or even weekly basis.
You have to be willing to be invested. Loving your neighbor might mean giving up watching a couple Rays games or dedicating your Saturday to volunteering instead of college football. It might mean getting your hands dirty. It might mean using your hard earned money for God's glory instead of your vacation.
If we are going to move out in ever-widening circles and change our world, we have to start with ourselves. We have to be willing to give our money and our time to something bigger than ourselves. If we want to truly live, we've got to commit to truly give.
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”