Love That Simplifies


Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40

In January, I was encouraged by Pastor Doss’ sermon series, “Simplify”. For many people, life has become so complicated by all of the stuff they’ve allowed into their lives. People, church folk included, are living stressful, hurried lives, going and going, always on the go, getting nowhere from all the clutter. Pastor’s call was to “Simplify”, declutter, un-burden your life of distractions that tend to take away from living the quality of life that God intends us to enjoy.  A word of caution, you can’t simplify your life, if you are not willing to let go of somethings and maybe even some folk that hinder you from, “keeping the main thing, the main thing”.  Folk, who keep adding on to what, “You ought to do”, list, but fail to do them in their own lives. What you had five, ten, twenty years ago may not be what you need now. Your closet is so full of shoes, clothes, and hat’s you can’t even remember the last time you’ve worn them. You haven’t seen the floor in that closet in years.  That’s how life can be, if you are not careful, we can store up so much stuff we lose sight of the foundation for which all life and relationships should be built, love for God.   

In our scripture for today, an expert in the law asked Jesus, “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” The Pharisees had classified over six hundred laws. They spent their time debating which laws were more important than others. Jesus reply was to, “Simplify”. He cut through all the regulations man had piled on. First, “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, and mind. The second is like unto it, love thy neighbor as thyself”. In other words, once your relationship is set right with God your focus will be made clear.  All of the commandments are fulfilled in these two commands. Once an individual’s vertical relationship is rightly aligned with God then horizontal relationships will be set right. (By the grace of God we can move closer to this ideal.)

Our response to these two commandments exposes our hearts, lays bare our souls, and reveals what matters most to us. If there are things getting in the way of you loving God and living life at the level God intended, then, you need to let somethings or some folks go. Simplify! Unburden your life! Ask God, for clear direction, to help you declutter!

“Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28