34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Have you ever had one of your parents or a teacher give this direction to you when your mind was wondering from what they were trying to teach you?
It is easy to lose focus especially during long periods of training. Life is a training period. It is easy to lose focus on what is important as we navigate through the “day by day” intricacies of living.
One day, as Jesus was teaching, He told those who were listening to Him to focus on what He was about to say because it was very important. In Mark’s version of this teaching, Jesus actually said in Mark 12:29:
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
I can hear the Lord saying, “Focus on this and don’t miss it because through obedience to these two commands, you will keep the whole Law of God!”
Notice that the essence of keeping the law is found in love. Both of the most important commands Jesus told us about contain the word “love”.
I have a few questions for you today?
How do you love the Lord with your mind? Does that mean you put Him first in your thinking? Does that mean that you put His commands at first priority in decision making?
How do you love the Lord with your soul? Does that mean that I love Him emotionally? Does that mean that I put His will above my own?
How do you love the Lord with your heart? Does that mean that I put Him first? Does that mean that He is more than just a “religious figure”? What does that say about the rest of my priorities? How would a life that is truly loving Him in a heart felt way be lived?
I really don’t want to answer this for you: I want you to think about it yourself. Find the answer through true seeking.
Then, Jesus stated, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
What does that look like? Am I actually doing that or am I giving “lip service” to it? Do I make excuses for not doing it? Can I love my neighbors and not know them?
Okay, I’m sufficiently convicted now!
If Jesus said that these are the most important things in life, what type of priority should we place upon them?
Wow! I’m beyond convicted!
Listen, this is not to make you feel bad but to help you not to miss the most important things of all. I’m learning right along with you. My God, help us to focus on what You are saying!
Thank God for grace! It is the vehicle that takes us to new beginnings! God’s grace, please carry us to the most important focus in life – both of which are birthed in love!