“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 strength.” Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (NIV)

“And the second is like it; ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:39-40 (NIV)

Love the Lord Completely

The first words above, spoken by Moses, tell us today that we should approach loving and serving God with our whole hearts.

Several years ago, I knew a person who usually responded that she would do something although she began with the words, “My heart isn’t in it.” She worked in the church and was loved by everyone who took the time to know her. Please don’t misunderstand, she worked very hard at what she did for God.

There are some people whom others consider to be “Prayer Warriors”, they spend quantity time in conversation with our Lord. These are people who ask those burdened by problems, “Have you prayed about it?” or “Can we pray right now?” They make great efforts to keep their souls aligned with Jesus. One whom I considered a ‘’prayer warrior” did not care for the term, as applied to herself.

I know followers of Christ who spent all their available energy working for Him even when they worked in the world. I am speaking of laity who take on offices and positions in their churches in addition to their gainful employment.

I know God has a place in heaven for each of them. These workers for the Lord are wonderful people who are kind to all they met and love people. It is a blessing to know these people. They show Christ’s love to me and to all they met.

Love Your Neighbor

“The Pharisees classified all 600 laws; they tried to distinguish the more important ones from the less important ones. So one of them, ‘an expert in the law, asked Jesus to identify the most important law.”(1)

In our world today, we have times when we believe something is not important. The importance of a circumstance can vary from time to time as we age. What is upper most in the mind of a teenager is to be with their friends or going to the sports event that is currently in season. A young girl who believes she is in love thinks it’s more important to be with her beau than with her family. As we get older, we come to realize the importance of family and those whom we consider family.

Jesus tells us that we are to love our neighbor as much as we do ourselves. In these times, we might not even know our neighbors. Or we may know their names and maybe their occupation but not much more.

In our fast-paced world, we forget the importance of taking the time to talk to those living around us. A friend got excited about having new neighbors on her block. This was a woman who had, as a teen, been involved in our old church. The new neighbor’s son caused issues in the area. I believe my friend prays for this new neighbor in spite of the issues caused by the son.

As I typed the end of the preceding paragraph, I felt conviction come over me because I have not done the same in similar instances in the past. However, I can start this practice today.

1. Life Application Bible Tyndale House/ Zondervan Publishing Wheaton, Illinois/ Grand Rapids Michigan. © 1991 page 1700