April 18 – Church & State – Love Your Neighbor

Read Mark 12: 30-31

Love God. Love People.

You know, Jesus could have picked anything. He could have said,” Don’t steal. Don’t put other gods before me. Don’t murder or commit adultery.” He could have gone on and on about the sacrifices, about things that were wrong with society at the time, but He kept it simple: “Love God. Love People.”

You want to know what the greatest commandment is?

“…love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all of your mind.”

Did you catch that? He didn’t say to love your country more or your party or a law or your convictions; He said to “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul and mind!”

Love God.

How are we doing with loving God? Is knowing and understanding God a priority for us? Are we taking time to fall more and more in love with the Creator of the universe who created US in unique and wonderful ways? Are we taking time to be grateful to Him for the love He showed us on the cross by sacrificing Himself?  WOW!  I’m convicted! I long to focus more on WHO God is and what He wants me to do and how He wants me to love!

Which leads us to the 2nd part of Jesus’ statement. The teacher hears Jesus talking and he only asks for the greatest commandment, but of course, our Savior gives him a little bit more!  He gives him the 2nd commandment too: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

And again, we need to ask ourselves some questions. Are we only loving the people who agree with us or are we loving ALL of our neighbors, whether they see eye to eye with us or not? Are we sharing love in the way that Jesus would or are we only pushing our agenda on people? Convicting again!

What are some ways that you can grow in your love of God? What are some ways that you need to better at loving those around you, regardless of whether they agree with you on everything?

May we be known as people who deeply love God, who long to know Him more!  And then may we also be known as people who show love and kindness to everyone!

Tim Boucher

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