God Asks So Little
“Jesus replied, ‘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. All the law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’” (Matthew 22:37-40)
God really asks so little of us, doesn’t He? The Jews wanted to know their boundaries. If they could just find out what was most important, they would do it and avoid all of the chaff in the middle. Jesus cut right through the Bible as they knew it and pulled out the heart of the matter. All God really wants out of you, He taught, is to love Him with all you have and love your neighbor the same way.
That sounds so simple. I love God. Don’t you? I try my best to give Him all I have. I try to be a neighborly neighbor. Is that really enough?
There are many fine points to remember in Christianity. There are important, even essential things we must recognize and adhere to. Why didn’t Jesus bring that up? Why didn’t He spell out all of those things while He had such a captive audience? Why would He miss such a grand opportunity?
Surely these questions run through some of our minds. Surely we have asked why.
Perhaps Jesus did answer these fine points in the verses above. There is little doubt that someone who really loves God with all his or her heart will have a problem following something He asks of us.
People who really love Him are not the ones looking for the road of least involvement or requirement. People who really love Him are seekers. They are the ones seeking to do more and learn more about God. They do not feel “put out” by the directives God gives. They receive the word with gladness of heart and move their lives to match up with God’s standards.
Note that Jesus involves the totality of man’s being in this love. He includes the heart, mind, soul and strength. It is God’s desire that we belong to Him totally.
When we develop a total, giving love for God, our next step is to direct it to our neighbor. This is God’s way of showing His presence to an unbelieving world. When the neighbor sees God at work in my life then there is a tremendous testimony that He is alive, well and powerful, and that He and He alone can help them.
We sometimes make the directive of God difficult. We begin to add in this restriction and that, when all the while, He really asks so little. The paradox is, however, that so little from us means our everything.
The people who have first given their hearts have no problem giving their all. Those who concern themselves with giving a little need to re-evaluate the state of the heart.
Are you “put out” by the directives of God or do you accept them gladly? The answer may well tell you where you are with Him.