The One Thing That Counts
Teach me, Lord, to love You first and foremost. Quiet my heart today.
Read Mark 12:28–34
28 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?”
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 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.”
34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectClench your fists and picture a current issue in your life being held in your hands. Open your hands and release it to God.
There were said to be 365 prohibitions and 248 positive commands in the Law, so it wasn’t surprising that the scribes and Pharisees enjoyed playing “Which is the Greatest?” One of their number invited Jesus to play (28).
Jesus’ answer was clear. Just one thing (31b), made of two parts (29–31a), is more important than all the ritual acts of Temple worship (33). The greatest command? To give all that I am, all that I do, and all my capacities (30) to God, in a package marked “Please direct to whoever needs it most” (31).
By welding together love for God and neighbor into one command, Jesus indicated that the only legitimate measure of my love for God is my commitment to bless others (1 John 3:16,17). And by putting love for God in the first place, he suggested that the only legitimate model for loving others is God’s own love for them (John 13:34).
Just one command: it’s so simple, even a scribe can get it (34)!
What can you share with someone in need today?
Here, Lord, is my mind and my money, my heart and my home, my abilities and my attitudes. I offer them in love to You.
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