Mark 12:30 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.
Someone once asked Jesus what God’s most important rule was (Mark 12:28). He answered that it was to love God more than anything else. That’s a pretty big thing to ask!
Think about some things that you love. You love your family. You may have a pet that you love. Maybe there are some toys that you just really love playing with. Or there could even be things that you love to do, like sports or games. God is saying to love Him more than you love anything else. Do you think that might be hard? Think about your parents. They’re supposed to love God even more than they love you!
There was another person in the Bible that asked Jesus what He had to do to get into heaven (Matthew 19:16). Jesus answered Him that he had to give up all of the things that he loved more than he loved Jesus. The man thought that was too hard so he didn’t give up anything and he went away from Jesus very sad. What that man needed to realize was that Jesus is better than anything that he loved in his life.
We should love Jesus so much that we want what He wants. We should want to be like Him and want to do what He did. When we make Him most important in our lives, we’re starting to really live for God.
Will you pray about this with your parents? Ask God to make your heart love Him more than anything else. If you ask Him for help doing that, He’ll definitely help you because it’s what He wants most!
Galatians 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
When we follow Jesus, there are some things that God wants to see in our lives. It’s not just about what we do, but about how we are. We call this our character. Your character is who you are as a person and the way you act and treat other people is because of your character. Character can be good or it can be bad.
When you show someone love, that’s an action, when you are loving, that’s part of your character. It’s possible to do the action without having the character. Someone who isn’t a loving person can show love to someone. But God is more concerned with us being loving than He is with us occasionally doing something for someone else. Actually, He wants both.
If you’re a loving person, but never do anything to show it; what good is that? It’s possible to be loving and to show love through your actions. If you’re thinking that sounds hard, it is. But the good news is that you don’t have to do it on your own. If there’s ever anything that God has said He wants you to do or to be, you can trust that He is ready to help you.
If you don’t think you’re the kind of loving person God wants you to be, ask for His help. Pray and ask Him to help you have a heart that loves. Ask Him to help you to show love to the people you see everyday.
What are some ways you can think of to show people that you love them?
How do you think a person who has a loving heart thinks differently than someone who doesn’t?
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 If I speak human or angelic languages but do not have love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
What do you think the most important thing is to God? What does He most want us to obey? Did you say love? Of all the things in the Bible God told us to do, He tells us that loving Him and loving other people is the most important (Matthew 22:36-40). Jesus even said the rest of the commands God gave us would all be taken care of if we’d just love God and other people.
The Apostle Paul wrote about love because it’s so important. The people in the church of Corinth (a city that he visited) were getting a lot of things wrong so Paul taught them about the importance of love. He told them that even all the good stuff they were doing was worth nothing if they didn’t also show love to people. Can you imagine? You go to church, read your Bible (and maybe even memorize verses), volunteer to help with things, and you’re told that it’s no good because you’re not loving? That had to get their attention!
This happens a lot thought. Poeple do a lot of things for God and think they’re making Him happy, but they forget to do the most important part of what He said to do – love. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. You can make loving God and loving people an important thing in your life right now. What things can you think of to do today that will show God’s love to someone around you?
Sometimes we all do things that aren’t what God would want us to do. That’s called sin. Have you ever sinned? The bad news is, we’ve all sinned. The Bible even says so in Romans 3:23. Sometimes we don’t tell the truth, or maybe we disobey something we were told to do, whatever the sin is, we all do it.
So how can God still love us if we disobey Him? The Bible says that He wants us to be perfect (Leviticus 20:26), but we can’t be because of our sin. We’re unable to please Him if we can’t be totally sinless and we just can’t do that. But there’s good news!
God loves you. In fact, He loves all of His creation. In John 3:16, He says that He sent His Son, Jesus, to take our punishment for the bad things we’ve done. He did that because He loves us. Do you love people that treat you badly? It’s hard isn’t it? We don’t like to keep caring for people who don’t care for us, but God loves each of us even though we treat Him badly by sinning.
If you understand this one thing, you’ll know a lot about God. When He sent Jesus, it wasn’t only to pay for your sins. Jesus also gave you His perfection if you believe in Him. Remember, you need to be perfect in order to please God, but you can’t do it on your own. Jesus is perfect for you! That means if you believe in Him, you can be God’s friend! The Bible even says that means God adopts you as His own child (John 1:12)!
Read Psalm 118:1-4. How long does God’s love last?
Let’s review Genesis 1:1 one more time. Do you have it memorized yet? “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”