Love the Lord with all of your heart, and your soul, and your mind, and your strength. These words from Jesus are incredible, aren't they? They're incredible because they both inspire and frustrate us.
They inspire us because they show us that a different way of living is possible. They show us a way of living that is free from the power of self, they show us that there is a future is possible that is different from the way in which we live, which is full of selfishness. That selfishness that hinders our relationship with God that breaks our relationships with others, and that destroys the world around us.
These words of Jesus speak to us about the fact that it is possible to live differently
A bit like a sunrise on a beautiful day that shows an incredible VISTA that illuminates something that was hidden. These words of Jesus inspire, and yet also at the same time, they manage to frustrate us. They frustrate us because they show us how utterly unable we are, to live up to them. A bit like trying to eat a bowl of soup with a fork, it's just not possible.
They speak to us of the need to love God with all of our hearts, when so often it's our hearts lack of faithfulness that's the issue.
They speak of our need to love God with all of our mind when actually so much of the time our minds are darkened and broken. And it's our minds that get us into so much trouble.
They speak of loving God with all that we are when all that we are is actually so far from God.
This command encourages us to love our neighbour as ourself, when actually if we're honest and if we're being real, we have to understand that we fail to love ourselves and our neighbours continually.
You know, the worst thing that you can do with this command is to think you've got it covered. The worst thing you can do is say okay, Jesus, I've got this, because actually shows that we haven't understood it at all.
Know this commandment, rather than speaking to us of our potential speaks to us of our utter failure of our helplessness, to obey it.
When we listen to this command, we're a bit like a starving man who is watching pictures of fine dining projected onto his walls, he may see it, but actually, all it does is it increases his awareness of the problem. The command of Jesus shows us how utterly, utterly helpless we are. What this command ought to do is to show us not our great potential, not our great ability to keep it rather than it ought to show us our need of Jesus.
This command shows us that without a transforming relationship with Jesus, without God changing our hearts, we will never be able to live up to it.
My prayer for you as you watch this today is that hearing this command of Jesus ruins you for the ordinary. Years ago, the indie band James, they sang that song, 'Sit Down' with those words, "if I hadn't seen such riches, I could live with being poor."
My prayer for you today is that the hearing this command of Jesus would inspire you dressed like that, that you would no longer be able to live with this poverty because you've seen the riches that are available. But those riches are only available in Jesus. I pray that hearing this command of Jesus would show you your need for him. God bless you.