The Great Commandment
Mark 12: 28 - 31
One 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?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
This piece of scripture is something I constantly turn to for myself. I went to a women's retreat with my church that really honed in on this text and challenged us to think about how this can be done. The wonderful leader of this retreat focused in on the fact that this scripture clearly exemplifies why we are here. This is our calling. Jesus is our calling. Everything we say, think and do should stem from this bigger-than-life calling.
This woman put in perspective the pressure I put on myself to see my calling as something earthly and how an earthly "calling" is never satisfying; where I am left thinking there is something greater that what I am doing in my roles or job...well there IS! It's to love my Savior with everything I have. The reason I turn to this scripture repeatedly is because I feel like there is always opportunity to check where I am lacking and where I can work to love my God with all I have:
My heart is my love. And Jesus needs to be my number one love. I have a post on priorities where I struggled with understanding how to love the Lord FIRST. When I give the Lord my whole heart, it actually grows my capacity to love my earthly relationships (spouse, kids, friends, parents) infinitely more. I give grace, appreciate, love and forgive in a way I can only do with Jesus guiding my heart.
Soul is defined as "the essence or embodiment of a specified quality". Or..simply put: the essence of who I am. Who I am should manifest in a way that there is zero doubt that I am fulfilling the great commandment: it is with love for Jesus. When my soul is loving the Lord with all of my might, my essence reflects that - I should embody that love and live in a way that glorifies the Lord.
God gave us incredible brains. We are able to learn, adapt, grow to seemingly limitless ends through our time here on earth. Let's use our brains to love the Lord! He has given us his Word - let's study it. Know it. Apply it. I let that knowledge from our creator inspire me and I marvel at what I can learn only from Him. I look for more ways to praise God for the incredible world He has given us. Knowing more only gives me a state of awe for Him and deepens my relationship with Him.
I constantly have to work on this. And so I will pray for strength. More specifically, my prayer is to not be feeble in my walk. For me this means trusting in Him completely; which requires fighting any doubt in my heart that what He has willed is best. Sometimes the good is hard to see from earth, especially in seasons of personal trial or when you have to watch another's suffering. I pray to stay strong in my faith and to resist asking why or doubting the goodness - knowing that I can only see such a small spec of what God is weaving together. This poem is so beautifully written and I feel paints a beautiful picture of staying strong in my trust of God's perfect will:
“Life is but a Weaving” (the Tapestry Poem) “My life is but a weaving Between my God and me. I cannot choose the colors He weaveth steadily. Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow; And I in foolish pride Forget He sees the upper And I the underside. Not ’til the loom is silent And the shuttles cease to fly Will God unroll the canvas And reveal the reason why. The dark threads are as needful In the weaver’s skillful hand As the threads of gold and silver In the pattern He has planned He knows, He loves, He cares; Nothing this truth can dim. He gives the very best to those Who leave the choice to Him.”
― Corrie ten Boom