Deuteronmomy 5:23-8:20 contains what is called the “shema” I think you would be pretty familiar with it:
5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deu 6:5
Jesus would go on to say this was at the heart of the commandments, so it is well worth giving some thought to. Listen to this little dialogue that takes place in Mark 12:
28One 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?”
29“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g]There is no commandment greater than these.”
32“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
34When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
You are not far from the kingdom, wow, that is high praise from Jesus.
What do you think is going on here?
Is it that this man gets it right, where the Pharisees get it wrong. They make it all about the rituals. Yet he makes it all about relationship.
The life of Gods people was always meant to be about relationship and not ritual.
A relationship that was secured by the love of God. John 3:16
Are you about ritual or relationship?
Going to Church, small groups, church meetings, ministries…
How’s your relationship?