25A legal expert stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he said, "what must I do to gain eternal life?"
26Jesus replied, "What is written in the Law? How do you interpret it?"
27He responded, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself."
28Jesus said to him, "You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live."
Eugene Peterson has written a book called The Message, wherein he has translated the Bible into today's words and phrases. I think it offers a fresh perspective on some familiar Scripture.
Let's look at verse 27 from The Message: "He said, 'That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence--and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.'"
I love that Mr. Peterson used the word "passion!" Love God with all your passion!
What are some things you are passionate about? A sport? A hobby? A friendship? How does the energy you put into these things and the excitement they generate compare with your relationship with God? If God wanted you to give up one of these things so you could spend more time focusing on your faith, what would you do?
God gave us all passions, talents, and abilities to use and enjoy. But God does get disappointed when we spend all of our time and energy on other things--only squeezing in God in the time that's left over, if at all.
Making our relationships with God our highest priority would make God much happier, and, ultimately, it would make us much happier, too. Give God your passion. Give God your all.
If today's devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.