It’s All About the Heart
The last several weeks, we have been studying what we now refer to as “The Great Commandment.” A phrase our denomination often uses is “Fulfilling the Great Commission in the Spirit of the Great Commandment.” In other words, any call to God’s mission on this earth to reach the lost and spread the truth of Jesus starts with a life aligned with the Great Commission to love God with all we are and to love our neighbor. But this is easier said than done.
If I have learned anything preparing these sermons over the last few weeks, it’s how often I personally fall short of living a “Great Commandment” life. Sometimes I doubt God. Sometimes I let him down. Sometimes I fail to love others the way God loves them or to see them with the value God places upon them. Can you relate? I think the reason for this comes down to our original statement in this entire series- It’s all about the heart.
If I were to ask you what Jesus’ greatest duty was on earth, most would probably focus on his duty to live a sinless life so He could be the perfect sacrifice for us. And no question, this is true. But as with anything, if we know the WHAT but miss the WHY, we will miss the big picture. What if I told you Jesus only had one duty when He was on earth, and it wasn’t what you think?
Jesus’ one duty on this earth was to love His Father.
Everything else Jesus came to do, He was doing out of love for His Father. He came to earth to live a sinless life and to die a sacrificial death for our sins BECAUSE of His love for His Father. He didn’t avoid sin on this earth because He loved following the rules, but because He loved His Father, the author of right and wrong. He did all He did to please His father. In fact, even as He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane begging for the cup to pass from Him, ultimately His prayer was “But not my will, but your will be done.” According to John 15:10, when we don’t keep God’s commands, we don’t abide in His love. The command in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” applied to Jesus as well.
The Shema, and Jesus’ keeping of it was his great confession. Everything we say or do hangs on love, because love is why Jesus came. When we make it our one goal to love God with all we are, we will naturally also begin to love the things God loves, including the people we interact with every day. The reason I fall short in my love is because I lack the same motivation Jesus had. Our one duty on earth isn’t to follow a bunch of rules. It’s not to go to church or be baptized or teach in kids church or lead a community group or disciple someone or go on a mission trip. We SHOULD do all those things. But we should do them because they are expressions of the one thing that matters most. Love God with your heart, soul, mind and strength. And the second is equally as important; Love your neighbor. All the law hangs on these two things.
It’s all about the heart.