On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind;” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” (From Luke 10:25-28, New International Version).
President Ronald Regan once said, “Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.”
I love that quote. It reminds me of the kind of life we can live as we walk with Jesus — it’s not complicated. We have a focused goal at the church I pastor: to love God, and to love people.
That may sound familiar to you, as it’s what Jesus said when asked, “Which of the commandments is the most important?” He said, “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.”
Loving God and loving people ... these are both challenging and rewarding. Loving God is usually much easier than the second part of Jesus’ command, but if we start with loving God, He will help us with the “loving people” part.
When we come to realize the ginormous greatness of God’s love for us, we can’t help but love Him also; as the Apostle John wrote, “We love Him because He first loved us.”
I encourage you to listen to the words of Jesus, and take President Regan’s advice: “Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.”
Louis J. Locke is pastor of Fountainhead Foursquare Church, www.ffccarson.org.