“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?” John 3:10 (NIV) Nicodemus had the Old Testament Scriptures, not the New. The words “born again” do not occur in the Old Testament. But Jesus makes it clear that a person with the Old Testament should be...
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deuteronomy 6:4-5
One of the best-known verses in all of the Old Testament tells the people of God to “love God with all your heart” (6:5), and it urges us to keep his commands “on your heart” (6:6). We are talking about a personal, spiritual relationship with Almighty God, formed by faith and characterized by love, right here in the Old Testament!
The Gospels tell us about an occasion when a teacher of the law asked Jesus, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” (Mark 12:28). Now that’s a good question. Of everything that God has said, what matters most? What is it that God really wants of me?
Jesus answered: “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 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.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).
Then Jesus said, “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Mat. 22:40). Everything that God says to you, all that he calls you to do, can be summed up in these two things: Love God with all your heart. Love your neighbor as yourself.
Are these the most important concerns in your life today? If not, what is?