Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The Most Important Things

 Tuesday, May 4, 2021

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, Of all the commandments, which is the most important? The most important one, answered Jesus, is this: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. Well said, teacher, the man replied. You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices. Mark 12:28-34

The Most Important Things
When the scribes and Sadducees came to probe Jesus about His understanding of Scripture, He was, naturally, able to answer their all their questions perfectly. One scribe in particular asked Him, “Which command is the most important of all?” Jesus’ response in the scriptures above is twofold and really could not be more simple for us to apply to our lives. 

First and greatest commandment - Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength… 
When we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, He will automatically be elevated to the number one position in our heart, soul, and mind. This makes Him over all of our lives. If we keep Him in this number one place, so many other things will fall into place. It won’t always be so easy. If we make Him number one and filter everything in our lives through Him we will have the best life we could ever hope for. Will there be pain, sorrow, sickness and death? Yes because these are part of life. Our relationship with God does not shield us from those things, it gives us the strength to endure in the best possible way. 

When we love God, we will want to obey Him and keep His commandments. To some, this seems like a prison but it is exactly the opposite. Keeping His commandments and walking obediently with Him will enrich our lives and give us the sweetest freedom. We take every decision we have to make in life, every choice and ask, “Will this glorify God?” Answering that question honestly and acting accordingly will keep God in the place He belongs in our life. 

Second is this - Love your neighbor as yourself…
God is devoted to us and loves us. He wants us to love Him and be image bearers by loving others the way He loves us. When we do love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, won’t we automatically do this? Not always - we are still human and we will always have to fight sinful nature. We have the help of the Holy Spirit to help us be more like Jesus - to love like Him and care about others with godly compassion. 

There is no commandment greater than these.
Jesus said there is no commandment greater than these. That is something we need to remember and make a priority in our lives. Nothing is more important than loving God, making Him number one, and showing Him to people, and there is no greater way to do that than through love. 

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