"Which commandment is the first of all?"

Jesus answered, "The first is, 'Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; 

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.'"

Mark 12:28-30, RSV 


There it is: The definition of ultimate love and ultimate commitment! The most important command and, therefore, our most important task while we are here on earth is to love God with every ounce of our being.


We are not told merely to love - that would not be nearly enough for a relationship as important as the one between the created and the Creator. It is to be with all of our heart and soul and mind and strength - nothing is left out and nothing short of this will do.


Have you ever had something that you really, really, really wanted? Maybe it was something as simple as a new toy when you were a child. Or maybe it was a date with that certain someone when you were a teen. Perhaps it was to start for your varsity team, or maybe it was that "dream" job that you thought would make you set for life. Whatever it was, it consumed your thoughts. You began to make plans as to how you could best achieve your goal. You worked, you obsessed, you struggled - whatever it took - in order to reach your goal. 


You gave everything you had because you thought it was that important. Was it worth it?


Sometimes it wasn't quite what you thought it would be. You outgrew the toy, you found out that the great guy or girl that you just had to date had problems just like the rest of us. Or you found out that the reality of the team or the job didn't quite live up to the perception... so you were let down because all of your plans and hard work led to nothing. Sometimes life is that way.


Then, there was the time that your heart's desire was just what you thought it would be - and more! That great guy or girl made a great husband or wife! Or that team you went out for or that dream job you wanted actually turned out beyond your wildest dreams. So, was all of your hard work worth the effort? Of course it was! You would be crazy to even ask such a question.


That's the way it is with God and Christ. God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son. Jesus loved us so much that He gave us His life.


And they want us to be with them forever in Heaven!


Do you think it would be worth it, in exchange for all They have done, to love them with all of your heart and soul and mind and strength? Why, we would be crazy to even ask such a question!


"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.

Colossians 3:23-24, NIV


Today is day 14 of the 90 day commitment to study through the New Testament. Mark 12-14 is the reading for the day. May God bless your efforts as you seek Him with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind and with all of your strength! Nothing else will do.