Love God, Love your neighbor – any questions? (It’s not as complicated as we often make it)

Jesus: “Love God, love your neighbor. Any questions?” – Mark 12:28-31

This morning my men’s group talked about ideas like time and how God’s independence from the constraints of time and space impact our understanding of issues such as free will.

Don’t get the wrong idea about us. We’re not a bunch of brainiacs, cosmologists, students of Einstein and Hawking, or physicists pushing at the boundaries of the space-time continuum; we’re not philosophers unraveling the secrets of existence. We’re just a roomful of guys reading C.S. Lewis and willing to stretch ourselves just a little in our understanding of the mystery that is God and the wonder of the Incarnation.

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Tim said it best when he pointed out that we often complicate what Jesus communicated as a very elementary idea: Love God with everything that we are, and then love our neighbor with the same degree of passion and commitment. “Do that,” he said, “and we won’t go wrong.”

“So does it make any difference,” I asked, “if we launch our day intentionally with the idea and the source of that love front and center of our consciousness?”

One of the guys pointed out that we can have our faith and following Jesus as a general, overarching, ethos, not necessarily conscious at every moment, and then fine-tune that orientation with specific decisions from situation to situation.

I like the picture that paints, of a layered interaction between what is eternal and what is of this moment. I am a child of God, I have given my life and my devotion to God – that is a constant. But then, traveling this road as a disciple, I have the opportunity to act in response to that guiding truth, to make decisions that come out of the confidence I have in God’s providential love.

Just Like Us:

A story from Mathew’s Gospel came up, the one about the woman in the crowd who touched the hem of the cloak Jesus was wearing. People were pressing all around yet Jesus noticed. If Jesus is God why did he have to ask who touched him? Wouldn’t he have already known? But here’s the thing: Irrespective of big-picture questions regarding time and eternity, and just like us, Jesus responded to the stimuli around him and made decisions in the moment, in real-time. Why? Because this is where we live, in this moment and in this age.

The difference is that Jesus always made the right decision.

Author Derek Maul lives and writes in Wake Forest, North Carolina

So we can decide to follow Jesus, we can decide to answer the invitation to enter into the Kingdom in his way, his truth, and his life… and then – as we travel down the road – we must submit our moment by moment decisions to the guiding light of his teachings.

We accept what God has done – is doing – through Jesus, and then we ask for the guidance of the Spirit to follow in his way. Friends of Jesus both in time and beyond time.

Like Tim said, it’s really not that complicated – DEREK


faith kingdom of God Live Like You Mean It Men's ministry message

derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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