The religion scholar said, “A wonderful answer, Teacher! So lucid and accurate—that God is one and there is no other. And loving him with all passion and intelligence and energy, and loving others as well as you love yourself. Why, that’s better than all offerings and sacrifices put together!”
Mark 12:32-33, The Message*
Before I opened the Bible today, I was thanking God for His love. It’s so wonderful that He loves each of us—loves us—and that it’s unconditional. Nothing I can do will make Him love me any more or any less.
But in response to that love, I want to please Him. To bless Him, maybe. That’s where what I do makes a difference.
Sometimes I think once people get over the obstacle of thinking we have to earn God’s love by our performance, there’s a danger in thinking good works don’t matter. We’re saved by grace, not works.
What we do—on the outside and in our hearts—does matter. Loving God, loving others, shows that our relationships with God matter. It lets us grow in our faith.
And it pleases the Father more than offerings or sacrifices. For me, that’s reason enough.
Father, there are no words to thank You for loving me. Please help my heart to truly grasp that Your love is deep, unchanging and unearned. Help me love You, and help me love those around me. Give me a desire to please You—not because it could make You love me more, but to bless Your heart.
Let’s take Paul Baloche’s song, “Offering,” as our prayer today.
*The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.
You explained that so well. I agree with you but its hard to explain sometimes! I agree with your prayer too. Amen!
It’s hard to keep straight in our minds, let alone try to explain. It’s just loving God back, because He loved us first, but we make it so complicated.
A beautifully articulated message , followed by such a beautiful song. Thank you for both !