Full on LOVE.
“A lawyer asked him a question, testing him: ‘Teacher, which is the most important commandment?’ And he said to him,… ‘Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these’” (Mark 12:28-31).
New York is one full on place. Over the past week I have had the utter privilege of living and working in New York. Meetings in big buildings, hot dog mustard on my white business shirt, being bustled and compacted on the subway, dazzled by advertising, taken by the size and opulence of shops. And I really really liked it. Yes I could definitely live in New York. Which is kinda funny as right now I live in a country town of about 5000 people where the tallest structure is a mobile phone tower and if it takes you 15 minutes to get across town you must be walking. And yes I absolutely love living here. I think I need both, the full on city with all its choice and stimulation and the quiet country town with its slower pace and peacefulness.
And I think my relationship to Jesus can be a bit the same.. like living in two different places. One moment it is slow, rambling along, content with how things are and then the next my faith is New York style, all full on and involved, seeking out the next opportunity. But actually I need to be full on all the time.
I am to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. Not just part but all. Wow.
This is an invitation into complete involvement of every part of who I am, nothing left behind. And the greek for love is agapao which speaks of loving, of making God my complete focus. I guess just as New York captured my full attention, in the same way I need to give God my complete attention. That I think about God a lot, pray heaps, ask the question often, ‘how can I serve you right now Jesus?’ and spend loads of time reading and accepting the teachings of the Bible.
And how do I know when I am giving God my all? Well the proof is whether I am loving my neighbor as myself. And the greek for neighbour speaks of those within my environment, those near me. And I would actually count not only those people who live near me, but those I interact with on the net. But the key isn’t to lead with this, to take the mental decision to love my neighbors, but first to work on loving God with all that I am, and from this will naturally flow a love for my neighbors.
So how am I going to apply this to my life? Pushing my commitment to prayer up a few notches, more prayer needed. I need to ask myself often, ‘‘how can I serve you right now Jesus?’. And I need to recognize clearly that I need to love God with all that I am, nothing held back.
What are your thoughts on this awesome passage? Be great to read your insights, feel free to leave them in the comments section on the blog.
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Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan
The portion for today is: Leviticus 4-6; 1 Kings 14-18
To access the complete plan for the year click