And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, (Deuteronomy 10:12)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” (Luke 10:25-28)
Yesterday David was encouraging us to rejoice in the day that the Lord had given us. This reminded me of one of my favourite recipe books. I have a book completely devoted to cooking soup and all the recipes within the book are divided up by season, with the aim of encouraging you to cook seasonally. It may come as no surprise to discover that nearly all my favourite soup recipes come within the seasons of autumn and winter. There is something so lovely about having homemade soup, especially if it comes with fresh homemade bread, on a cold winter’s evening.
Last Saturday was just one such day. I had decided to have a go at a recipe I had not tried before, for French vegetable soup. My first problem arose when I looked down the list of ingredients, they weren’t difficult ingredients to purchase, but it was the quantities that were really rather vague. For example, I needed three large leeks. Now how large, exactly, is a large leek? Then I needed two large carrots, and again the same issue applied as there are some very large carrots in the shops at the moment and maybe all I needed was just one rather than two. In the end I had to make a judgement call and then hope for the best. As it was the soup turned out really well and I will be making it again.
Some times as Christians we can find the bible a little bit like my recipe book. We want to know exactly what we need to do and how we should live our lives. But when we look for instructions we can find it all a bit vague. The Jews had tried to make laws in order to govern exactly how they should live, but it was impossible to keep them all. Like the expert in the law we too might ask of Jesus, ‘what must I do?’. The expert in the law already knew the answer as he replied “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”
This may seem rather overwhelming, as exactly how are we supposed to go about doing that? Thankfully the writer of Proverbs has some excellent advice for us all when he says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
From these passages two words speak out clearly to me and they are love and trust. We must love as much as we can and we leave the rest to God as we trust him for everything else.
Prayer (David Adam)
Jesus the Saviour, save me from sin.
Jesus the Way, watch, warn, walk with me.
Jesus the Truth, teach, tell, transfigure me.
Jesus the Life, lead, lighten, love me.
Jesus the Shepherd, seek, strengthen, save me.
Jesus the Door, direct, draw, deliver me.
Jesus my peace, pity, pardon, purify me.
Jesus Risen, revive, recreate, renew me.
Song: The Lord's my Shepherd - Stuart Townend [with lyrics] - YouTube