Read: Mark 12:1-34
“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.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12: 28-34 NLT)
There are times when I read the Bible, and it seems like an encrypted code – I struggle to find the meaning hidden between the lines of text. This is NOT one of those passages.
If you want to honor God, and thank Him for all He has given you, you simply need to love Him. We show our love in many ways, but one of the most prominent is showing our love for those around us. Really, these are the same thing. We are all created in the image of God – God loves all people, and if you truly love God, you will show that love by extending it to those around you.
There are many ways we can do this, and I am proud to say that I attend a church that encourages everyone to fine their own way. We can share our gifts of music on the worship team, pass along the message to the next generation with children’s ministry, connect with others at a class or life group, participate in an outreach group, or help people meet their basic needs through the “One Thing,” and the list goes on. These are some of the things that I think make our church a great church. But the question at hand is not how you make a great church – it is how you show God’s love.
I agree that all of these things show your love for people and for God (and if you are not, I encourage you to find a way to serve in the church), but I have seen people be affected by seeing God’s love in much less formalized ways. I have seen a soul change when a lonely person received a smile. I have seen sadness turn to joy when a mistake has been forgiven. I have seen a broken heart healed when a family member received a hug after a loved one’s passing.
We all have times that we feel hurt or broken – there are many around us feeling that way at this very moment. If you find that person, you will be amazed at how little effort it can take to show them the love God has for all of us.
Aaron Van Ningen