If you really want to keep the Christian faith simple, many believe these four words are a great start: love God, love people. I’m going to take it a step further in this “quick church” blog, but let’s start there. Those words come from an interaction between an expert in religious law and Jesus:
35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (NLT translation)
So you if summarize verse 37 and 39, you get “love God, love people.” Would you believe that at the time, there were 613 laws documented? No wonder the question of the most important law would come up. And if someone was trying to trap Jesus into saying others were less important, it wouldn’t be an easy answer. Instead, Jesus quoted from scripture and explained how all the laws are based on these two commandments. This was a great answer then – and it’s a great answer now. It also shows how God can keep things simple and humans and organized religion can make them more complicated!
A Step Further
After Jesus’ resurrection, he told his disciples:
This is called “The Great Commission.” In other words, Jesus was saying, “teach others what I have taught and shown you.” So, what is a disciple? I would submit that it’s someone who can love God, love people. But I would also add that it’s helping others learn how to do that, too, like this last verse. Therefore, our simplistic version of the Christian faith, based on all three of these statements, is:
We can make faith and life too hard sometimes. In our mission, we feel it works to keep it real simple and we enjoy sharing that with others. It’s just nine words – love God, love people, help others do the same. There is healing, freedom and peace in these nine words!
The easy song choice for this message is Danny Gokey’s Love God, Love People. Have a listen! See and hear the connection to uncomplicate your own life.
- Look at your own faith and life – can you spot any areas where you’ve made it too difficult?
- Can my priorities be adjusted if I “Love God” more?
- Am I putting too much pressure on myself?
- Will my relationships be different if I “Love People” more?
- Can my life purpose, peace and fulfillment increase if I “Help Others Do The Same?”
- In case you’re wondering, the following are the old testament scriptures Jesus quoted from. God spoke to Moses, who then shared with the people:
- “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:18 (NIV)
- “Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:4-5
- Consider reading some of our other faith blogs to increase your understanding and grow in faith.
Lord, help us to memorize these nine simple words and apply them to our faith and our life. Let this simplicity unclutter our lives and attract others from the noise and pain of this world. Help us practice what the singer sang – “Knowing life will be found when (our) love can be loud.” Let your love shine through us “loudly” with every thought, word, action and connection that we make today and everyday. Amen!
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