The one about packing what is important

Suitcase child - pack what is importantIf you were going to be stranded on a desert island, what one thing would you take? The question is supposed to make us think about what is important to us but I always say, ‘a satellite phone’.

When people are playing the game properly rather than trying to give clever answers like me they will often pick their favourite things. These can include electrical items which is a bit strange because the Island is unlikely to have electricity unless you have stumbled into an episode of Lost. Sometimes people will pick what they find the most relaxing eg their favourite book. This always makes me wonder if they have really understood the question. Seriously, the question is about you going to a desert island where there will be no shops or houses. If you are going to take anything, shouldn’t it be something that helps with shelter, survival or food?

It’s good to try to be prepared. I’m taking part in a 16 mile walk at the weekend and I’ll be packing a raincoat (this is England!), lots of drinking water and some snacks (they call them Lembas is Middle earth). I’ll be wearing proper walking boots rather than shoes because I want to be prepared for the journey.

What is the most important thing? What do we need for life? When asked what was the greatest command from God Jesus said:

“‘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 neighbour as yourself.’” (Matthew 26 v36-40)

Our relationship with God is the most important thing. Although Christians follow Jesus as Lord, it is interesting that loving God is what is emphasized rather than obeying or following. We should follow God because we love him and not because we have to or we ought to. When you see people at work you can usually tell if they are work just because they have to be or if they love what they are doing. Love brings a joy, passion and commitment to the relationship we have with God. Can we say we really love God? God is with us always and as a result we can’t leave him behind but we can ignore him. If we ignore him a lot does that mean we love him in reality or not?

Our relationships with the people are equally important. Do we love people? These verses from 1 John 4 remind us that our love for God and one another are intertwined:

8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

12 If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

That’s pretty blunt. If we don’t love others then we don’t know God. The verses I have missed out talk about real love being shown in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. He didn’t just die for the people who would be love him back, he gave his life to offer freedom to the whole world and this is true, pure and sacrificial love. Only when we love one another with that same sacrificial love can God’s love be fully received and made complete in us.

What are you packing for life? What is the most important thing to you? I believe Jesus when he says that loving God and loving the people in our lives and those we meet are the most important things. How will we invest and focus on these two areas today?

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About honestaboutmyfaith

Hi, my name is Graeme and I’m married to a very patient wife. We have 4 children, 2 rabbits, a terrapin (and not a lot of peace and quiet!). I’m a Baptist Minister who is especially interested in making Church accessible to people who have no church background and also in how we disciple people in order to equip them to live out their faith in the 21st Century. I am also a member of the Eastern Baptist Association's Council with responsibility for Mission Strategy.
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