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You May Fail at Many Things in Life, but Don't Fail at Love

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.

Mark 12:29-13

What if the start of this new year was less about gearing up for goals and more about settling into surrender?

Rather than beginning the new year with a “have to” pressure to set goals like losing weight, eating healthier, drinking more water, spending more time with family & less time on work, etc., what if you approached the new year with a “get to” heart of surrender? A heart surrendered with a determined & resolute purpose to receive & give God’s love to the fullest?

Y’all, it’s easy to set new year’s resolutions and even easier to fail at them, but here’s something greater to consider => You can fail at many things in life, but don’t fail at love. It’s important not to fail at giving love, but also the reverse - receiving it!

Jesus gives the greatest commandment of ALL time in Mark 12 when He tells us to love. He refers to the Shema, a prayer prayed by the Jewish people twice a day since the command was given by Moses in Deuteronomy 6.

It begins with an imperative to listen. The word carries depth, imploring the listener to allow Truth to penetrate the depths of the heart, permitting understanding to surface & a compelling response to follow.

He reminds us that there is one Lord God worthy of our love. He alone is deserving of a wholly devoted love that encompasses our heart, soul, mind & strength!

Unlike the Law that requires external obedience, the very fulfillment OF the law (Jesus) stands before the teachers of the law!

God loves us with peculiar love because it is often unrequited but is always unfailing!

He loves us just as we are.

👉🏽No need to clean up

👉🏽No need to pare down

👉🏽Not as we WERE

👉🏽Not as we WILL BE, but JUST AS WE ARE, He loves us!

Y’all, can you imagine how lives might change if we remembered the Shema like the Jewish people?

When we keep God's love & loyalty at the forefront, we don’t follow out of obedience or obligation, but simply out of grateful love for HIS love!

The greater we can receive His love, entirely & sincerely, the greater we can give it! The more we know God loves us, the more we are willing to take risks to follow His lead in love!

If there is any fear in our lives or hesitation to follow God’s lead, it’s probably an indicator that we’re resisting the fullness of His love. His perfect love casts out ALL fear! Oh, that we would feel the freedom to fail at anything, but His love!

-Kimberly Oden

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