Last week may well have been the most important teaching I have ever delivered. Why? Because it was on the subject that Jesus said was unequivocally the most important command ever uttered.
It was on love. It was on the priority of love. It was on the necessity of love. It was on the sinfulness of being unloving. Think about it, if love for God and love for others is the greatest command, it stands to reason that to be unloving is the greatest sin ever committed.
It is time for Christians who take the Bible seriously to stop trying so hard to be right as if that is the gold standard of following Jesus, and start doubling down on being loving. And I think we should do this as if our souls depended on it.
Is it not interesting that the most important commandment of God is not something that you can check off a list as "done"? Hear the gospel. Check. Believe it. Check. Confess you are a sinner. Check. Repent. Check. Be baptized. Check.
"Now, one thing you lack," Jesus might say. "Name it!" you might reply.
Spend the rest of your life and all your resources loving God, and loving everyone you ever come across, all the time, without ceasing, no matter who they are or what they do to you (or someone else you love). Do that, and then, welcome to the Kingdom of Heaven!
It reminds me of a guy who faced a similar situation in Mark 10:17-22. He asked Jesus what it would take to inherit eternal life, hoping he would hear a checklist of requirements that he had already met. When he heard it would cost him his life to gain it, he walked away.
Instead, I wish he just got started. The invitation was not just to leave his life the way he knew it. It was to replace that life he had built with another one that involved following Jesus! He would have lost his "riches" certainly, but he would have gained Jesus.
So love is the most important thing. Well, what if we accepted that today. And what if we, unlike the Mark 10 guy, wanted to do it? We wanted to follow Jesus and love God and everyone all the time no matter what?
How would we get started? And how would we go about never stopping?