"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." -Mark 12:28-29
The most important thing. The greatest commandment. The one thing that sums up God's greatest desire for us. To love.
This is a familiar passage to me. I grew up hearing and memorizing it as a child in Sunday School and children's church. We sang songs about it. It has followed me into adulthood and remained one of the core concepts that drives my Christian faith- I must love God.
But when giving this most important commandment, Jesus doesn't just stop at love. He goes as far as to tell us what our love should look like. It should take shape in our passions, thoughts, emotions and actions. Our love for God should influence every part of our life and be evident in every area of our being. If it's not, we are not fully living out the most important commandment given to us as Christ-followers.
I feel that the church has failed to really explain and educate on the importance of this "one thing" that we are commanded to do. What does being a Christian really mean? Why do so many people struggle with their faith? Why do so many fall away? What makes being a Christian such a difficult task? Perhaps we have never really embraced the one thing that should fuel and energize this commitment to a life of surrender to God- love.
Over the next few weeks I am going to do a four-part blog on the four elements of our lives that should embody this love commitment: heart, soul, mind and strength. Each blog will be given entirely to one of these elements and dig deep to find out what Jesus meant when He commanded us to love God "with all". I hope you will join me as we get to the root of the Christian faith and Almighty God himself: love.