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-- © GodSpeak International 2008 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --
Authors: Rolland & Heidi Baker <Rolland@irismin.org> http://www.irismin.org
Surpresa Sithole <surprise@surprisesithole.com> http://www.surprisesithole.com
Transcribers: Carol Harbaugh, Virginia Norris Editors: Teresa Seputis, ELvi Glass, Kevin Nolan

As Seen Through The Eyes Of
Leaders From The Mozambique Revival

Heidi Baker, Rolland Baker and Surprise Sithole

Lesson 4
by Heidi Baker
Love God

We have been talking about the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. Jesus told this story when one of the religious leaders asked Him what people need to do to inherit eternal life. This story was His answer. The person who asked Jesus was not ignorant. He was a wise guy, an intelligent person, and he knew all about the law. He knew the scripture. He knew everything that he was supposed to know. He wanted to test Jesus, so he asked, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" That's a good question, isn't it? We all want to be saved. We all want eternal life. Jesus asked him, "What's written in the law? How do you read it?

Did you notice that Jesus pointed the man back to scripture? The Bible is the best book there is. I've read all the books by the founding fathers, the ancient mystics, all the doctrinal books. They were good, but one day I found that there is just one book I need to read, and it's this book: the Bible. I wear one out about every three or four months. I don't recommend you buy our book, I recommend you read the Bible. Read this book. This is the one you need to read.

The scholar said, "Love the Lord your God." How hard is that? How complicated is that? How confusing is that? Love the Lord your God. That's what is written in the Law. Even the wise guy got it -- love the Lord your God. How? With all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your mind. Don't check your brain at the door, you can think. You can love the poor and care for the hungry and walk the streets of your city and hold the dying in your arms. You can love, because that's the gospel. The gospel is simple. Love the Lord your God.

That's what I see happening as God touches His people. God is taking our little hearts and making them bigger. Watch out, because it hurts. It hurts because God is taking something small and making it bigger. He's stretching that little heart inside you and He's causing it to be big. He's taking selfishness out of the western church so she starts to feel, so she becomes a church that loves the Muslim, a church that loves the broken, a church that loves the dying, a church that loves the broken hurting one in the world, a church that loves to run into the darkness with mercy.

Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength. How much strength do you have? What is your strength for? Are you intellectually strong? Use all the intellectual strength God has given you to love Him. Are you physically strong? Use all the physical strength that God has given you to love Him. Are you emotionally strong? Love Him with all your emotions. If you're emotionally strong, maybe God is calling you to the emotionally weak, to mental hospitals, to the dying rooms. Love the Lord with all your emotions, with all your soul.

We need passion and compassion. Love God with all of your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. That's the gospel. That's the book. That's the deal. It bears repeating over and over and over a hundred thousand times. It bears repeating every day of the year. It bears repeating every moment. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and spirit, and love your neighbor as yourself. It really is that simple! If it was complicated, I couldn't understand it. I'd have trouble getting it. But there's a little problem with simple -- you can't play dumb anymore.

It's true, you can't play dumb anymore. If it's complicated, you can say, "Whew! That went right over my head, I didn't get that." But when it is simple, you can't use that excuse anymore. God wants you to love, just love. He wants you to love with all your heart, mind, soul, and spirit, and love your neighbor as yourself. It's too simple for you to be able to wiggle your way out of it.

That wise man was in trouble. He wanted something complicated. He wanted something more difficult so that he could wiggle his way out of it. When it is that straight-forward, that uncomplicated, there's nothing you can do about it except do it or disobey. Suddenly you're held accountable, aren't you? Suddenly, you have to feel like God wants you to feel. He's not making it so complicated or difficult that you don't know what to do. He's just saying, "This is the gospel. Love Me, passionately." And unless you love Him passionately, you can't do a single thing. You'll get so weak. You'll love for a day and there will be mean people and they'll spit at you or shoot at you or stick a gun at your head or steal from you or they'll hurt you, and you'll say, "That's enough. I've had just about enough!" We say that when we have to wait in line for a few minutes. We need to be different. We need to love somebody who doesn't even want to be loved and who doesn't make it easy to love them.

The wise guy thought that was too complicated. He would rather just do it in church. It would be so easy if we could just do it in church, because it's easy to be sweet and nice for a short time. Just smile at everybody and tell yourself, "I'll be home soon, so grin and bear it for a short while."

But loving God, being a minister, being a missionary, isn't just about running up to the altar and laying your life there. It's about living a life of love every single day, every single moment, every single hour of the day, living a life of love.

If it was just about loving only nice people and only kind people, you wouldn't have to worry about it, would you? But it's not. They're mean out there. They steal and they cheat and they lie and they hurt you. They don't leave you alone. It never stops. But that's what the gospel is: loving until it hurts. That's simple compassion, passion and compassion. It's always loving Him first, so He fills you up enough to love every single man, woman, and child on the face of the planet.

I do understand the times. I do understand what we're going through in this nation. And I still believe the Book. I still believe the weapons of our warfare are love. The are not carnal weapons. We are to be a different kind of people that think differently than everyone else. We love until it hurts. We pray, we pray, we pray, we support our leaders. But how will we respond when the unlovely hate us back?

I was in Mozambique, where I do a lot of missions work, when my country, the United States was attacked. I didn't have access to any television there. My assistant called me in the evening to say how sorry he was that my nation was bombed. I remember saying I had to get to South Africa so I could find out what was going on. I remember seeing all the people in their black robes with the little slits and being so angry. I wanted to shout, "How could you do this to us?" God got my attention; boy did He get my attention. I thought I loved the Muslims. After all, I preach and minister in three Muslim nations. That day He told me to love every Muslim I saw. All day long I had to walk around. I walked around eight hours, I didn't watch CNN or anything. I just walked around praying for Muslims all day long -- until God changed my heart. He made me start feeling like He feels, weeping for the darkness and the lost and the broken, until I got His heart.

I can preach this because I'm living it. I've been shot at five times, I've been beat up, I've had my head bashed against walls, I've been thrown in jail, I've been hungry, I've had many, many, many sleepless nights, and endless ministry lines until one and two in the morning having started at five in the morning. I know what I'm preaching about. It's not just blah, blah, blah. I believe that if we read this Book and if we know the heart of God, we can live this kind of life: one that we live a love that is limitless bottomless ceaseless love.

-- © GodSpeak International 2008 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

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