“‘...To love Him (God) with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.’ When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’”
To set up this situation, the teacher of the law asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was. Jesus replied to paraphrase, “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself.” But what this teacher of the law did was that he got it and went further. He concluded in his mind that to loving the Lord is above sacrifices and burnt offerings. What he concluded that loving God is above the things you do for God. Yes there is action, but your action must not be above loving your God and neighbor. He was able to distinguish that because of your love for God your actions will follow. Not your actions first then your love for God.
Now, I’m guilty of this as anyone. Loving God can be difficult. Sometimes it’s easier to just go to church, volunteer, give money, and do the church thing. But this Ash Wednesday, I want to do what this teacher has grasped. That loving God is above all the most important thing. That is what is needed. When you start to love God there ministry comes alive and where God really starts to work. When we realize that God is first then everything else is second that’s when amazing things happen. Loving God is the start of everything.
Lord thanks for the word. May my heart love You above all things.