"And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, 'Which commandment is the most important of all?'" This was a debate that went on among the religious leaders as they tried to "rank" the 613 laws that they followed. The laws were divided into "heavy - more important" and "light - less important".
In Mark 12:29 Jesus answers with Deuteronomy 6 when He says, "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." We are called to live as one in His oneness. We are family because of the Holy Spirit, and we have God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as a perfect example.
In verse 30, the command move from corporate to personal when it says, "your heart, soul, mind, and strength." We are called to be totally committed to love Him with everything we are and everything we have.
Jesus goes on to say, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." We are to see others and offer this love to them.
In order to do this, we must know what love is. The world says that love is relative and that love is love. We know that there is much more to love than this. Love has a firm foundation. God is love (1 John 4:7-8).
How do we love God and people well?
- Remember that He did it first, and it is His idea. His love never runs out. We must love from His never-ending well instead of our shallow ditches. (1 John 4:10-12)
- He laid down His life for us, so we can sacrifice and serve others too. (1 John 3:16).
We look like Jesus when we serve sacrificially. We see this in detail in Lev 19. These steps to loving others are very simple and practical. We need to look for the little things that we can do.
As we reflect today, here are a few questions to discuss:
- There are times where we feel overwhelmed by all the things we are asked to do to serve and love God. What are some of those things that feel overwhelming to you?
- Jesus said to love God and love people. Knowing that is what HE said to do, how is that freeing and challenging to you as a disciple?
- How do YOU love God? How did you show love to others this past week? How will you keep your eyes alert to needs this week?