Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Most Important Little Nugget

I am trying to read the bible this year. You know, do one of those "read the bible in a year" things. I feel like I have read most of the bible at some point in my life, but I think there are things that I have probably glazed over, and things that just didn't catch my eye. I'm realizing there's actually a lot that I haven't read.

Confession: I have a hard time paying attention to the old testament. I feel like it is the same thing over and over again. When I say paying attention, I don't mean as in obedience, I mean as in I'm a little ADD and have a hard time paying attention.

I'm reading Deuteronomy right now. It goes a little something like this:
  • Moses leads the Israelites to the east side of the Jordan. 
  • God tells Moses "Sorry, you're not going to the other side, like ever! You're going to die without ever seeing the promised land. Joshua (your assistant) will do it, he'll lead them, so encourage him." (that's how I hear it). 
  • Moses gives a bunch of speeches to remind them about the past 40 years. 
  • The Israelites whine about God not loving them. 
  • Moses tells them to obey God, don't worship idols, etc., etc. and they will be a strong nation. 
And then one of the most important little nuggets of information is found in Deuteronomy 6:4-5:
"Listen Israel! The Lord our God is the only true God! So love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength."
Later Jesus reiterates (Mark 12:29) that this is the most important thing to do. This along with the second most important thing to do "Love others as you love yourself". 
I really think this is the summation of what Christianity is. 
Christ followers need to stop asking what's wrong with those who don't follow Christ. 
Maybe we need to start asking what's wrong with us. 
Maybe we need to strip 
down to the basics. 
Get back to the heart of what Jesus was saying. 
Stop judging, stop writing people off. 
Stop thinking we got it made cause we've accepted Jesus. 
Stop being self centered.  
Just love God and love others, period, that's all. 

So here's your challenge: Strip down your beliefs to just those 2 commandments. Do it for a day or a week or a month. See what happens when you really live out what Jesus said. Then, let me know what happens....

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