The Jaffray Offering Devotional | Week 2

October 9, 2023 | 4 minute read
The Alliance Canada


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Ice Breaker Question:

What is the nicest thing a neighbour has done for you?


Great Commission: Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20).

Great Commandment: “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.” (Matthew 22:36-40).

Study: Last time we talked about the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, now time we’ve come to a crossroads – the point at which these two intersect.

The Greatest Commandment is about loving God and investing in practical needs. It’s about addressing the horizontal dimensions of life, reaching out, people helping people.

The Great Commission is about investing in spiritual needs. It’s about addressing the vertical dimension of life – reaching up – by restoring (or developing) one’s relationship with God. Which is more important? Which should be done first?

The Greatest Commandment and the Great Commission shouldn’t be in competition with each other. They are not parallel roads; rather, they intersect.

The Great Commission isn’t merely “go and win converts” or “go and tell people about Jesus and then never talk to them ever again.” The Great Commission is, “go and make disciples.” Disciples being people who people who are intentionally following Jesus and living a life that reflects His—it takes work to be a disciple.

At the end of Luke 10 Jesus says, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10: 37). In this verse, He’s saying to go and love your neighbour like the Good Samaritan loved their neighbour.

Love is an action, it’s not just an emotion. It involves every part of who you are. When you love someone with your whole heart, you are committing your emotion, thoughts, actions, and every part of you to loving them. When we love God and our neighbours, we aren’t just doing a nice thing once and then moving on, or saying a prayer and then forgetting, we are actively engaged throughout our entire day.

Think of what it’s like to be in love, or to have a best friend—you want to spend all your time with them. You want to do kind things for them and show them that you care. You are excited at the thought of making them happy. Imagine how your life would change if you were actively loving God and those around you.

As Christians we are called to love God, and to love those around us. No matter how our views differ, what their annoying habits are, or how they treat those around them. It’s our role to actively love everyone we interact with. Specifically, we are called to love others like we love ourselves. Do you give yourself second chances? Do you forgive yourself when you mess up? Do you think highly of yourself, even though sometimes you may get frustrated with yourself? The answer to all of these is likely “yes!” This is how we are called to love those around us!

Agape love is not passive, and it’s not only emotional. The love referred to in the Great Commandment is the love of Yahweh. This love is an active response of faithful person loving God. Agape refers to connection and emotion—when God cares for his creation, it can be called loving kindness, which is a covenant term. It is not a passive emotion, but active mercy.

When you show your neighbour active mercy, you are showing them that you are choosing to love them. You are choosing to love despite their flaws, their quirks, or anything else.

What is a better way to love those around us than to share the Good News with them? When we share the Gospel with our neighbours, we are inviting them to learn about how their lives can be transformed.

Learn more about South Asia: Over a billion people spread across 500,000 villages who have never encountered the Gospel; 1000s of languages without a Bible; a mission field the size of which this generation has never seen. And it’s still growing by nearly the population of Canada every single year. And doors aren’t exactly open to missionaries from Western countries. The radicalizing fear of outside political influence makes it nearly impossible for most humanitarian efforts—let alone traditional ‘missionaries’—to get a foot in the door.

The South Asia Project is supporting a training program and community transformation initiative for indigenous church planters in South Asia. Our goal is multifaceted. Our partners will deploy new leaders who are equipped theologically and practically to share the Gospel and multiply faith communities. This cohort of new leaders will begin replicating new communities of faith by when they graduate. The training takes candidates through a curriculum which includes character building, learning the Old and New Testament, spiritual warfare, English language development, evangelism and pastoral work, and practical skill development they can take back to help their communities flourish.

The leaders come from a variety of people groups and villages. After their training, they return to their local villages to plant faith communities. They will continue to plant numerous faith communities in their careers and identify new local leaders from within their communities in order to expand the work at a greater scale. Ideally, the program is self-regenerative; leaders are trained, plant faith communities, and identify future leaders in their local congregations, who are then trained, and go out and plant faith communities, continuing the cycle.

Reflect and Discuss:

Are you equally passionate about spiritual transformation (eternity) and social transformation (practical needs)? If not, why not?

What would it look like if you were as excited about spiritual transformation as you were about meeting the practical needs of people? Where in your life can you use your existing activities meeting the practical needs of people to also meet their spiritual needs?

In 1-2 sentences, explain how Jesus’ love for you compels you to do things for others.

What could you do to show love to a neighbour this week? 

Prayer Points:

  • Pray that God would open your eyes to opportunities to love your neighbours
  • Pray for boldness in loving others
  • Pray for church planters in South Asia



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