Just Two Simple Rules

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  The second most important is similar: Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.  All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets stem from these two laws and are fulfilled if you obey them.  Keep only these and you will find that you are obeying all the others.”  Matthew 22:37-40

I don’t know about you, but I like things simple.  I don’t like to have to remember too many things.  This is about as simple as it gets.  But I find when I look at these two simple rules, its not so simple keeping them.  Love the Lord with your whole heart, soul and mind–wow!  I know I don’t do that.  I may start the day talking with the Lord, appreciating Him, and asking Him what He would have me do today.  But before long I become distracted and start thinking about my plans and what I want for the day.  I seem to have this default setting where my mind goes back to me.  Me is my home page.   The same thing happens when I try to love my neighbor as myself.  I may start out with the right desires, but I get so full of me, I forget to even think about my neighbor.

I think Jesus laid out these two commandments for a very good reason.  They are actually more comprehensive than the ten commandments.  If we have some very specific commandments, like do not lie, do not steal, do not kill etc., we can start thinking we’re doing pretty well.  But in reality we aren’t, because we’re only focusing on what not to do, not our care of others nor our attitudes.  And so Jesus two commandments help us realize more quickly that we aren’t perfect.  We are sinners.  And sinners need forgiveness.  Sinners need help to be better people.  Sinners need a savior–we need Jesus.

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