Love, Service, and Prayer. Salvation is ultimately about how well we practice and apply these three concepts to our lives. Christ provided us with the template for a life applying precisely these three critical elements on a regular basis, and it is our mission to follow our Master’s blueprint for salvation, both for ourselves and others.
Initially, then, we must strive to practice these three things in our daily lives. First, we must work to love as Christ loved, serve as He served, and Pray as He prayed. While we cannot pretend to be able to do these three things as well as Our Lord did, we can aspire to sincerely do our best on a daily basis. If we truly love, we will be willing and happy to serve. If we truly love, we will be better able to pray. Ultimately, love connects prayer and service, and the three connect us to Christ.
However, it is not enough that we merely try to practice and apply the above three things. In order to truly enhance our path to salvation, we must practice and apply these three things in the proper order, which is God first, others second, and ourselves third.
In other words, we must love God first, others second, and ourselves third. We must serve God first, others second, and ourselves third. Finally, we must pray in thanksgiving to God first, in request/thanks for others second, and in request for ourselves third.
There is nothing wrong with loving and serving ourselves and praying for our own requests, but we must place such things in third order for we know that God will provide us with what we need and deserve. While it is good for us to ask Him for ourselves, we must do so with humility, obedience, respect, and patience, all of which are exemplified when we place our interests third in priority.
It is of much greater value, then, to place the interests of others before our own. Hence, loving, serving, and praying for others is more conducive to our salvation than doing these very same things merely for ourselves. In fact, doing these things for those who mistreat us is of even greater value and, if we are honest, of much greater difficulty given our human nature. This is why it is more valuable to love, serve, and pray for those who mistreat and dislike us than for those who treat us well.
Of greatest value, however, is loving, serving, and praying in thanks to God Himself. As the title of this blog implies, loving God is what matters most by far, and what will guide us to do everything else that is right. If we truly love God above anything else, we will likewise want to serve Him above anyone or anything else. When we pray, we must remember how much we have to be thankful for, and pray accordingly. How many people pray only in supplication and not thanks, as if denying or ignoring the many blessings they have already received from God Almighty.
The more we pray in thanks, serve in obedience, and love above all else with regard to Our Heavenly Father, the more we will love, serve, and pray for others and, ultimately, the more we will love, serve, and enhance our prayers regarding ourselves. Christ told us that if we place ourselves last, our status will be elevated and, conversely, if we elevate ourselves first, we will be relegated. Our Lord gave a beautiful example of love and service when He washed His followers’ feet at The Last Supper. How can we expect anything less to be demanded of ourselves?
Love, service, and prayer are the three keys to salvation but, more than merely three coins helping us pass through the gates of eternal happiness, they must be applied and practiced in the right measure and order in order to be effective currency for salvation. If we place ourselves last, others second, and God first in all things, we will truly be making the best and most effective investment in our eternal address.
Copyright, 2012 Gabriel Garnica