Early last year, I was searching for something online when I came across this sentence in Italian language, “Qui si entra per amare Dio; di qui si esce per amare il prossimo.”
On further search, I discovered that this sentence is engraved on a stone that directly looks down on the front door of a local Church in a part of Italy. And just like in many Churches (before the new COVID rules) the entrance also serves as the exit. So, you’d see it when you arrived at the Church, and if you turned around when you exited, you’d also see it above your head.
The sentence above in English would translate as, “You enter here to Love God; You exit here to Love your neighbour.”
Now we know that the love for God shouldn’t be confined within the walls of a church building, nor should the love for our neighbours be left for outside the church walls – God is everywhere, including outside the Church building, and our neighbours are also within the Church walls.
The entire world is our Church. We can and should worship God whether we’re in a designated edifice or our rooms or at the workplace or in school or our car, a public transport, supermarket, football field, basketball court, restaurant, on the street or anywhere at all. As Jesus said, the time shall come and now is the time, when the true worshippers of God will do so in Spirit and truth. God seeks for such true worshippers.
But the inscription on that Church door is actually addressing something else; it’s a reminder that there are three sides of love: Love for God, Love for ourselves, and love for our neighbour. It is also a reminder of the fact that if we profess to love God but we hate our fellow men, our profession before God makes no sense. That the same way you have an obligation to Love God with all your heart, mind and soul, that’s the same way you have an obligation to love your neighbour.
Jesus answered the Pharisees in Matthew 22: 37-39, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
And in another place (John 13:35) Jesus added “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
So, let’s love and not hate. Let’s admire and not despise. Let’s encourage and not discourage. Let’s build up and not destroy. Let’s pray for one another and not backbite.
So, here is me telling you, “I love you; I truly do.”
And do you know someone else that loves you even more? Jesus. He gave His life to save you from the bondage of satan. He died on the cross so you can be free from sin. If you want to appropriate that love, simply say the following words in all sincerity:
Lord Jesus, I thank You for what You did on the cross for me. I understand that You died for my sins, and I’m sorry that I haven’t known this all the while but instead have continued to make you angry. Today, I’m deeply sorry for doing that. I ask for your forgiveness. Please, make me clean through your blood. Help me start a new life in You. I accept you as my Lord and Saviour. Come into me and dwell in me. Give me the grace to live above sin daily. I believe you have answered me. For in Jesus name I have prayed, Amen.
For further help in your walk with God, please feel free to send me a mail or leave a message. God bless you.
If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 1 John 4:20.