Elijah Davidson is a seminary student at Fuller Theological Seminary. And he has a question.
This semester he’s in a class called Biblical Theology of Mission which has him asking people of his choosing, “What is/are the biblical foundation(s) of your mission theology?” I’m honored to be asked. (And also, geez, that’s gonna be a long answer.)
Elijah is a blogger posting for Fuller Seminary’s Brehm Center blog, so I thought I’d speak his on-line love language and post my reply.
So, here we go with part one of my answer to Elijah’s question. Ready?
“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
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” -Mark 12:30-31
He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ -Luke 10:27
We love because He first loved us. – 1 John 4:19
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. -1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Love God. Love neighbor. Without love, mission and missionary are burdensome powerless self-exalting nothing. In the words of the Doobie Brothers: Where would we be now?
Everything else I’ll say, Elijah, stands on and because of love.