What did Christ do to show us the right way to live?
How do we know what we should do, especially when life gets so complicated, overwhelming, and difficult? Is there a way to simplify life rather than adding another To-Do on our list?
“But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40.
Why do you suppose the first and great commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind?
And isn’t it interesting that the first few of the 10 commandments also refer to our relationship with God:
“I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:2-11.
Why would God want us to put Him first in our lives? Does that keep us from other, more important, more pressing, or more fun things? What did God promise?
In 3 Nephi 13:33 Christ says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (See also Matthew 6:33, and Luke 12:31.)
Jesus Christ promised us that if we put God first and seek His righteousness, all the other important things would be added to us. Not only did Christ tell us this, but He showed us how throughout His life. This concept is based on eternal law.
Think about your own life. Usually when things seem the most challenging and overwhelming it is because we have forgotten (or perhaps never learned) to put God first in our lives. We’re so busy with work, family, money, house, bills, worry, and trying to fit in time for ourselves, and hopefully some things we enjoy that thinking about God becomes another painful to-do on our never-ending list.
Next time you start to feel that way, stop.
Stop, and remember what Christ did to show us the right way. He often stopped to pray to God (see Matthew 14:23; Mark 9:29; Luke 18:1; John 17:9; 3 Nephi 17:15). When we put God first, we receive innumerable blessings!
- We receive answers to our prayers.
- We receive wisdom, and strength to carry on and work out our challenges.
- We realize our blessings and live a more joyful life.
- We see others who are in need and receive inspiration for how we can help them.
- We see our “problems” in a truer light and receive comfort even when it seems we should feel uneasy.
- We look for the good in others and in every situation.
- We are less selfish and self-centered because our hearts are not on the things of this world.
As Christ said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)