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Love God, And Love Others

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment.

And the second is like, namely this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.

And the scribe said unto him, Well, Teacher, you have said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. (Mark 12:28-33)

God doesn't require religious rituals and meaningless sacrifices from us. God wants us to love Him with every fiber of our beings, all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Love Him above all else in this world. And He desires that we love others as much as we love ourselves. He wants us to be the messengers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost and dying world around us.

If we love others, we will do everything we can to meet their needs: feed the hungry, help those who are sick or in need, shelter the homeless and help the lost find their way. There are people all around us that are starving for the Bread of Life, Christ Jesus. (John 6:48) There are people all around us sick at heart as a consequence of their own sins or the sins of others. There are literally hundreds of people around us, lost and dying in their sins, desperately in need of the mercy and forgiveness Christ offers.

What are we doing to try to meet the needs of those all around us? We know the greatest need any person has is the need for a Savior, the need to know that our sins are forgiven and that God loves us with an everlasting love. Can we give up thinking of ourselves and instead think of what we can do to meet the needs of others, to show them the love of God, to bring them to the Savior? That is the sacrifice that God from us. It's worth more to Him than any other offering or sacrifice we could possibly make. Love God, and love our neighbors. Pretty simple, really, but can we do it?


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