Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 NIV
Jesus has just silenced the Sadducees with His wisdom and knowledge of the scriptures. Now the Pharisees get together and test Him with this question, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” The Law is actually the first five books of the Bible called the Torah.
Jesus simplifies the entire Law into two commandments. He quotes Deuteronomy 6:5, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and Leviticus 19:18, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus calls each of us to live a simpler life. We don’t have to know the 10 commandments and all the commands in Deuteronomy or Leviticus. We only have to know one thing – love. Love God first and love others as you love yourself. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Jesus lived His life focusing on these two commandments. Can we?
First love God with all of you; heart, soul, and mind (strength). When we interact with others do we shine our love of God? Can someone we meet tell that we put God first? I look at myself and am sure I fall short, but it gives me and all of us a goal we can strive toward.
Second love others just like we love ourselves. But “love ourselves” may be our first hurdle; for we all fall short. But we have to remember that we are the forgiven and beloved children of God who sees us through the righteousness of Jesus. Loving others is possible because God already loves us and He loves them. We are just passing on His love here on earth.
Loving God and loving others is the “simple life” we are to aspire to here in this world. It doesn’t necessarily come easy, but it is a choice we can make.
This week, choose to love. Love God and seek Him in His word, know that He loves you, and then look for Him in the faces of others. See others and ourselves as God sees us; beloved, created and designed in His image. Shine His love for the world to see with joy, kindness, laughter, gentleness, peace and patience.
I thank God for each of you! And I thank you for joining me this week as we strive to live the simple life with Jesus as our example.
Blessings and living the simple life with love!