Recently I was in a conversation with a young adult that was making a run at “coming back to church”. He stated that he had come to church only on holidays (Easter and Christmas), but felt like God would be a lot happier with Him if he started coming back to church.
I shared with him that I thought it was great that he was here, but also shared that God is really more concerned about some other priorities instead of checking off managerial clip board that he had gone to church. Mark chapter 12 quotes Jesus stating the two greatest commandments, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” A man replied to Jesus agreeing with him saying, “To love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Let’s equate these “burnt offerings and sacrifices” that this man brings up as doing anything of a religious nature to please God. Jesus agrees with the man’s assessment. God cares more about us loving Him and others then us checking the box on a religious to do list. David said it this way in the Psalm 51: 16-17, “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” God wants your heart. If he has your heart he has your life.
Going to church and being in community with other believers is an absolute must; for it strengthens our relationship with God. Yet, I know a TON of people who think that alone does it. A person could be in church every sunday of the year and never have an intimate moment with God. Intimacy equals vulnerability. When was the last time you were vulnerable before God? It’s our heart that Christ longs for. Love God, love people. Let’s get busy checking those boxes.
Spend some time reflecting on Jesus’ words to Love God and our neighbor from Mark 12. What does loving God look like in your life? Though God knows all, spend some asking the Holy Spirit to help you open up and share with Him vulnerable areas of your life that are sometimes hard to acknowledge. I’m praying with you.