Love God, love people.
Wokingham Vineyard is built around this simple phrase: Love God, love people.
This is our interpretation of Jesus’ answer to the question, ‘Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’. Jesus said, in Matthew 22:36-40, to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” this encapsulated the first four commandments.
He goes on to say "Love your neighbour as yourself" addressing our relationship with each other which is essentially the last six commandments. This model, delivered and lived out by Jesus, is how we want to live our lives.
The principle of loving God and loving people is simple to understand but hard to consistently put into practice. Why is this? We believe there are two main reasons:
1. Loving God requires us to seek His heart and be willing to be changed from the inside out to be more like Jesus. The dominant worldview is to put our own well-being first but, when you truly love someone you put their needs and desires above your own. This belief we hold to, demands that we do not revert to our own selfish nature. We are called to say, as Jesus did, not my will, but yours be done.
2. When we seek after God’s heart to love people, we find that it dictates that we do not just love the people we want to love, the people we find it easy to love; that we do not just get involved in the situations where we have special interest or skill but that we allow our hearts to be broken for what breaks God’s heart; that our hearts are open to all people. Jesus said ‘whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters or mine, you did for me.’ This requires us to lay down our rights, relinquish our perceived position at the front of the queue, and be content with being at the back. It requires us to make personal sacrifices. That sacrifice can take the form of financial contribution to God's work or giving up our time to serve in God's kingdom. We are called to a radical lifestyle following in the footsteps of the one who gave it all. Not the middle ground of mediocrity that we might find ourselves in.