Matthew 22:34-40(NRSV)

34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together,

35 and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.
36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
37 He said to him, ” “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 This is the greatest and first commandment.
39 And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Matthew 5:17 (NRSV)

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.                            

DEVOTION -Matthew L. Reger (Ohio)

As an attorney, I help people understand how they should act within the bounds of the law.  I tell them the purpose behind the law and why adherence to the law is beneficial not only to them but also to everyone else.  Sometimes that is what they want to know, but sometimes they just want to see how far they can go without getting into trouble.

I see the Sermon on the Mount as advice from “counsel,” from One with much more authority than anyone had ever heard of before or has heard of since.  It is human nature to want to push the limits of what the law allows.  But as Christians we have a different standard.  Jesus tells us that even thinking about braking a law is breaking that law.  We have been called to be holy and to live according to God’s commandments.  When we don’t simply adhere to rules, we discover the love of God.

When Jesus was asked what was the most important commandment, he quickly responded with two: we must love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and love our neighbor as ourselves.  That is how we can strive to live our lives.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:Today I will follow God’s commandments in a spirit of love.

PRAYER: Dear God, help us to live out your commandments, not simply believe in them.  Amen.