-The “1-2-3 Domino effect” of the Two Greatest Commandments & the Power of forgiveness
“How we see ourselves, how we conduct our interpersonal relationships are fruitful unto God, only if our relationship with God is according to His commands”
“Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law?37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.38This is the first and great commandment.39And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself upon these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40 KJV).
Point 1 – Point 2 – Point 3 Domino Effect
Let us ensure that the two greatest commandments are always at the forefront of our minds so that we
POINT 1 – Sustain a love-filled relationship with God through a worshipful life (e.g. bible study, praise, prayer..) which includes focus on God in all that we do and do them as unto Him.
This is the only way we can
POINT 2 – Love ourselves because it is in this place (intimacy with God) that we learn to love ourselves by understanding who we are in God and who He is to us.
As a result of Point 2 out-worked from Point 1 of the 1-2-3 Domino Effect (whatever position we hold in the Body of Christ or society – in God’s eyes a servant’s heart is the mark of an obedient heart – Jesus is our example),
We are able to
POINT 3 – Love our neighbours (anyone: friend, spouse, colleague, acquaintance etc…however they treat us); this means we are able to demonstrate God’s love through us to others meaning
– we are able to have compassion for people,
– empathise with them,
– care about their feelings so as to be cautious how we treat them, ensuring we are not doing or saying anything to hurt them nor imposing our will or controlling them and
-treat others as we would like to be treated.
Prayer: Father, help us in our weakness so that we live according to these two greatest commandments. Thank you for answering this prayer in my life and that of my brethren. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray Amen.
The Power of Forgiveness
Satan exerts himself in his attempt to ruin interpersonal relationships in general and especially those between Christian friends, spouses, ministers, work colleagues and acquaintances, because he is a sly crafty, cunning fool who will do anything to attempt to bring chaos in the harmony that is the “1-2-3 Domino Effect” of the Two Greatest commandments.
Let us take heed not to let the hurts inflicted upon us from childhood through to adulthood or what people are doing currently to hurt or upset us (it may not even be deliberate) prevent us from having or sustaining the peace we have in the knowledge that we are lovable or significant human beings created in the image of God and restored as such through Christ for His pleasure and purposes. The born again experience opens the door for us to be healed from lies satan has said about who we are and our worth especially through others. Our healing starts with forgiving all those who have hurt us directly or indirectly and contributed to these lies about our identity and worth.
Forgiveness by God and therefore making peace with Him is conditional to our forgiving others. This is why Jesus included these words in the prayer he taught his disciples to pray 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (Matthew 6:12KJV).
There is an assumption in this prayer that Jesus’ disciples know that they should forgive others so that God will forgive them.
Jesus emphasised the importance of praying that way (verse 12) by saying: “14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15 KJV).
When we forgive it means we are no longer sinning against God, for un-forgiveness is a sin. Therefore through forgiveness of others we receive forgiveness from Father God which results in our being cleansed from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). This makes a way for us to have fellowship with God through the Holy Spirit. Many of us have heard about how people have been healed from physical and emotional sickness when they consciously forgave others who had hurt or afflicted them. Forgiveness is very powerful. Un-forgiveness is a decision not to demonstrate the love of God to our “neighbour” (Point 3 of 1-2-3 Domino Effect), it is therefore disobedience. Disobedience is sin and sin separates us from God. Sin prevents us from loving God with all our heart, mind and soul (Point 1 of 1-2-3 Domino Effect). Without loving God, we cannot see ourselves the way God sees us nor love ourselves as He loves us (Point 2 of 1-2-3 Domino Effect).
Even as believers in Christ, if we refuse to forgive others, the resulting separation from God and being blinded to His truths and our identity in Him is such that we increasingly become self-dependent, self-indulgent or self-centered beings which are all marks of the fallen nature which is the image or reflection of Lucifer the fallen angel called Satan. Lucifer’s transformation from being an angel who was dependent on God and worshipped Him to become a self-centered angel manifested as pride. Self-centeredness and self-elevation are synonymous. In his pride, Satan wanted to take the place of God, to ascend the throne of God (Isaiah 14). Pride comes before the fall indeed, for Lucifer fell and anyone who detracts from living to be who God created them to be, in His image that is, is destined to reflect Satan’s prideful image unto destruction.
Forgiveness is the key to overcoming Satan’s attempts at creating discord, causing contention and hatred between Christians so that they do not demonstrate the love of God for one another (Point 3 of the 1-2-3 Domino Effect). This is often because when people are hurt, they are likely to fall into temptation as they are angry, discouraged, disappointed and begin to exercise thoughts of retaliation which range from either not speaking to the one who has hurt them or doing something to hurt them as well.
Your “neighbour” is not necessarily a fellow Christian and approaching them to make peace means you desire to obey God’s command that you love your neighbour. Your neighbour could also be your enemy, in relation to this Jesus taught as follows:
You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. (Matthew 5:43-46 NLT)
The importance of forgiveness is reinforced by Jesus, expressing the heart of God on the matter, when he said that
-you must forgive those who have sinned against you not 7 times but 70 x 7 times (Matthew 18:21-22); In other words forgiveness should be a perpetual lifestyle attitude of a children of God.
-when you are bringing your offering to God and you remember that someone has something against you then you must first go and reconcile with them before doing so. (Matthew 5:23-24)
To emphasis the point about Jesus wanting us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, he also said that in so doing we “will be acting as true children” of our Father in Heaven (Matt.5:45NLT). In other words we would be acting as a loving Father. God also loves and cares about that person (whether they are Christians or not) who has something against you or who has afflicted you and so should you is what Jesus was effectively saying in these aforementioned verses in the biblical book of Matthew (Chapters 18:21/5:23-24, 43-46); The phrase “..He (God) gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust alike” sums God’s impartiality clearly and powerfully. (Matt.5:46NLT).
It is evident therefore that the responsibility to cultivate harmonious co-existence through expressing the Love of God, lies with the disciple of Jesus and forgiveness is the key. When used therefore, this key not only opens the door to a sustained relationship of love with God but it also serves to keep us within the cyclical realm of the 1-2-3 Domino Effect of the Two Greatest Commandments all the days of our lives.
Poem: God’s Bridge of Love
You are a bridge of love for your neighbour to traverse and progress in my love, no more to transgress nor regress and drown in sin.
Your neighbor is one who
favours my conditional love or labours for artificial love.
Pour thy love upon me that
my treasury shall release plenty
into thy poverty, and you shall see my face unveiled, for at my gaze shall you know your worth.
When you walk with me as my bride and talk of me with pride, as a living sacrifice, and demonstrate my love to the loveless,
promote my Word to enemies
and use the key of forgiveness,
Then shall I draw near to you, and shall show you forth as a shofar with the sound “GOD IS LOVE”.
A passage of refuge for multitudes to know and abide in my LOVE.
©Deborah E.Nyamekye 2016
This inspirational teaching with Poem is chapter 8 of the new book: Wielding the Sword of the Spirit” by Deborah E. Nyamekye