Out of the Overflow
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The other day, I made a huge mess in the kitchen. Shanelle was running errands, Sawyer was taking a nap, and I was filling up my massive Nalgene water bottle in the sink. I say “in the sink”, but really it was the little sliver of counter space in between the backsplash and the sink because my sink was full of dishes and I didn’t want to hold the bottle. I carefully balanced the bottle, aimed the faucet into the water bottle, turned on the water, and walked away to tidy up the living room.

You can see where this is going.

Moments after turning the water on, I forgot about the water and was brought back from my mindless stupor to the terrifying noise of gushing water on a wood floor. What a buffoon. How could I so immediately forget such a basic task like turning off the water, or being patient, or not multitasking since statistics show that nobody is really that good at doing it. Had I remembered any of those things, I would not have wasted the next 10 minutes cleaning the mess.

While you may have never done that, I am sure you suffer from the human problem of forgetfulness just like I do. It can happen so quickly. On a busy day, a hectic morning, or a tiresome hour, our brains wander and we forget why we even walked into the kitchen in the first place. Now multiply that onto fully-booked weeks, over-scheduled months, and time-flying years and we are bound to forget one thing or another. Yet often, I find that there is one thing that for many of us tends to be the first thing forgotten when our personal lives get a little crazy: loving our neighbor.

In Mark 12:28, Jesus is asked “which commandment is the most important of all?” Although only asked about the first and greatest commandment, you would be right to notice that Jesus actually responds with two commandments. In fact, this dual-command from Jesus is actually the two-sided, fundamental essence of what it means to be a Gospel-believing Christian: Because we love God, we can/should/will love our neighbors; yet, we cannot properly love our neighbors if we do not first love God.  

When our weeks get busy with work, kids, family obligations, extra-curriculars, and so much more, sometimes it feels impossible to even schedule time to be with God, let alone to love and serve others. Yet, at the very essence of a flourishing human life is to love God and love others. I was refreshed the other day when I was lovingly reminded that loving others does not depend on my schedule, my efforts, or my diligence, but on God’s overflowing love given to me.

The soul refreshing verse I was encouraged to remember was 1 John 4:19, “We love because he first loved us”. Read that again, “We love because he first loved us”. Brothers and sisters, while the most basic form of what it means to be a Christian can be communicated through the verse in Mark 12, I would not say it without also reminding you that God’s call to love your neighbor is only possible when it is done out of the overflow of his love for you. Like the overflowing water bottle in my kitchen, God has given you more than a mostly full cup, but an overflowing cup to pour out his love to all people you encounter.  

So now the question becomes: how? How do we truly walk out this command of neighborly love? While I do not intend to give you a list of ways to do this, I do want to say two things: Firstly, be creative, but be simple. If you see a need in someone and have the ability to fill that need, then just do it. You don’t need to create a whole process or program just to help with the needs of others. Meet people where they are and serve them with the heart and hope of Christ.

Secondly, while we don’t want you to feel the need to create a whole program just so you can love and serve your neighbors, your church has done this so you and 400 other people from Mosaic can do this together.

On Saturday, April 27, Mosaic will be running its 10th Help Your Neighbor Day (HYND). HYND is a single day in which the people of Mosaic spread out all over Richardson to meet the needs of those around us and spread the Gospel to every square inch of our beloved town. This day has meant a lot to our town and our church has actually become known for the work we do on this day. When I spoke to someone recently about their experience being served by the people of Mosaic on HYND, they said, “It was amazing to see families that were willing to love their neighbors and help them with things that we could not do.”

For His Glory and our good,

Finn Foster