Many years ago, I discovered this amazing verse being lived out in the life of a man:
“Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself'” (Matt. 22:37-39).
While walking through a church lobby on our way into the sanctuary, an elderly gentleman approached us and welcomed us to the church. We’re not sure how he knew we were visitors, but somehow he did. We later discovered that this was his personal ministry.
We had just relocated to the area and were checking out churches. We did not want to be noticed, wanting just to slip in and out of church. Well, that was not going to happen. Not while Walter was around. He was on a mission—the mission of sharing God’s love with everyone around him.
The next several minutes were remarkable. Walter welcomed us and then asked a very simple and engaging question: "What brings you folks here today?" That was it—nothing else. He then listened to us intently. He did not interrupt us; he just listened, all the while smiling.
After sharing for several minutes, we realized we had been monopolizing the conversation. We had run out of time; the service was starting, and we needed to move into the sanctuary. We thanked Walter for welcoming us and for listening to our story.
Walter’s final words I still remember today: “Welcome to our church. We’re honored that you’re here; we love you, and more importantly, God loves you.” We left that day feeling welcomed, encouraged, valued and loved.
In just a few moments, Walter managed to intentionally live out Matthew 22:39: “Love your neighbor.”
Now, 18 years later, our family worships and serves in that same church because Walter took it upon himself to make us feel loved. I still remember his words and actions—to the point that it’s now become my personal ministry everywhere I go.
Men, I challenge you today to do the same. Share God’s love with those around you—your wife, children, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and even strangers. Lace your words with grace, mercy, humility, compassion and, most importantly, love. Let your words and deeds show God’s love in action. That’s godly love. That’s true love. That’s neighbor love.
Jim Angelakos serves pastors and leaders as a national ministry consultant at Man in the Mirror and is the administrator of the Man in the Mirror weekly Bible study. Jim’s daughter, Christina, also works at Man in the Mirror.
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