Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living ©
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.”
(Mark 12:28-31 (NIV))
With Christmas only a few short weeks away, this passage caught my attention in a different way than it normally does.
Oh, come on. I can hear you thinking that this has nothing to do with Christmas, but let me explain what it is that made me think this.
We are to love God with all of our heart. We are to rejoice at His love for us and we are to love Him in return. Now, think about this in terms of what God did for us that began one cold night in a manger.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))
For His great love for us, we celebrate the fulfillment of the promise of the gift of salvation, a gift that took human form and lived among us so that we could learn. A gift that came to be given to all so that all may live. A gift that was freely given to you and I and to our neighbors, no matter where they may live.
If God loves us enough to send His Son for our salvation, we love God in turn. If God sent His Son for the salvation of everyone who will believe, then we must love as God loves. we must love our neighbor.
In my eyes, Christmas is a joyous time for the whole world. Too many people think that Christmas is about family. They are partially correct. I believe that they need to expand their definition of family. Family is not only immediate family, but the whole family of man. This is a family where every single member is in need of a Savior. They are in need of the love that God has shown through the birth of Jesus. They are in need of the love and salvation that we celebrate. We must love our neighbor and tell them of this wonderful gift that has been freely given to all.
Do you love God with all your heart, all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength?
Do you love your neighbor as yourself?
God loves your neighbor as much as He loves you.
If we could simply live out these two commands, then we could celebrate Christmas every day.