29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” ~ Mark 12:29-30

We always quote this verse, but we never really explain it. We never really get deep. We are quick to say, “We love God,” but do we really understand what those words mean? See, we automatically assume that loving God is just this kind of mental thing, where we say, “yep, I love God. I’m a Christian,” and that’s it. But in reality, loving God is both a mental and a physical act.

Jesus knew this would happen. Jesus knew that we would only speak with our mouths, but never act on our words, so He explained to us in the book of John that if we loved Him, if we loved God, we would keep His commands. John 14:15, 15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Which we do, to a certain extent.

We keep the commands that suit us. We cherry-pick the commands, and we think this is okay. We think that it’s not as bad as others, so it will be overlooked. And sometimes, we just straight up refuse to believe that something is a sin because it is tradition. It is something passed down. It is something we feel was built into us. When we do this, it’s like the young man that committed adultery in the book of Proverbs. Just as “he [did] not know that it [would] cost him his life,” we do not realize it will cost us our life.

Just as the young man knew deep down that it was wrong, but nevertheless made excuses for himself, we do the same. We read it’s wrong. We know it’s wrong. But yet, we still do it. We convince ourselves we’ll get away with it. Not realizing it will cost us our lives.

Obeying is love, and love is obeying. They are inseparable. You can’t cherry-pick the bible and then try to make up for it in other areas. That’s why it is said in the book of 1 Samuel 15:22, “to obey is better than sacrifice.” In today’s world, we don’t go out and sacrifice rams or lambs; we sacrifice other things.

Giving to the poor is a sacrifice. Clothing the naked. Feeding the hungry. Going to Church. These are all sacrifices. And yes, each and every one of them is important, but if you do not obey, your sacrifice is meaningless. Anyone can give money. Anyone can give food. Anyone can do these things, but obeying, obeying very few people can do. That’s why it’s how you love. Because you’re putting God’s desires and plans, first. When you obey, you are cleansing yourself from all unrighteousness and getting one step closer to that initial creation you were meant to be. You are one step closer to getting back to the image of God.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Obey.

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