This weeks question is:
What does the law of God require? That we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength; and love our neighbor as ourselves.
Our memory verse is Matthew 22:37-40
“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
John Wesley: “And the second commandment is like unto this; the Second great branch of Christian righteousness is closely and inseparably connected therewith…Thou shalt love…Thy neighbor; – this is not only they friend, thy kinsman, or thy acquaintance; not only the virtuous, the friendly…but every child of man…”
Last weeks question focused on “that” we should obey, but it didn’t tell us “how” to obey. This week’s question goes hand in hand with the other. In fact, without this weeks question and answer, you might misunderstand God completely. Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment. A common question among rabbis of the day. If you could distill the law down, what would it be. The Talmud, a collection of Jewish writings from just after the time of Christ, captures how many different rabbis answered this question. (Here’s an interesting article on the Talmud: https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24367959). Jesus said it this way: love God and love people. If you want to know how to obey God’s law, love God and love people.
Jesus would spend all of his life, and even to death, showing us what that simple message meant. He would love God so deeply and perfectly people would be in awe of his devotion. And He would love people so deeply that He would meet them right where they were, and give His very life for them.
Kids often get obedience confused with oppression. Obeying isn’t fun, so it must not be good. But obedience to God’s law is not a daily ticking off of rules. It is love. Talk to your kids this week about how loving God and people is obedience to God’s law.