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When Jesus was asked what was the greatest of all Commandments, he didn’t hesitate in answering that it was to love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This directive was so ingrained in Jesus that is was, for him, self-explanatory. He didn’t have to think about it: He lived it.
If someone asked me what’s the best thing about being born-again, I would say that it was the inbuilt desire to love God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind, and with all my strength. You see, when you’re born-again, you don’t have to be commanded to love God. You just love him. It’s part of the state of being born-again.
If you’re not born-again, you have to consciously work at putting God at the center of your life. It doesn’t come naturally. It takes effort and time to form that habit, but form it you must. That’s why God made it a Commandment.
But when you’re born-again, you just love God. You can’t help it. It’s like Jeremiah lamenting about preaching the Word – if you try to stop yourself from doing it because of all the problems it causes you, it burns you up like a fire on the inside. You can’t contain it. You have to love God and speak his Word because it is who you are. It’s become the core of your being. It’s more you than you.
Loving God is part and parcel of being a born-again believer. It’s not something you can turn on and off: it’s perpetually on as long as you’re in the state of grace. And with it comes the enormous rewards of God’s ferocious love and protection, joy under every circumstance, and the sure hope (not yet a guarantee, but a sure hope) of Heaven when your time on Earth is up. While hope does leave some wiggle-room for failure, being born-again ups the ante of the hope into nearly a sure thing. At the very least, you can know that you’re firmly on the road that leads to Heaven. This is your sure hope and the best guarantee that God can give you for the time being.
So go ahead – ask me. Ask me what’s the best thing about being born-again. Ask me again and again and again, because I love talking about God and I love being born-again and I love talking about all the things God does for me as a born-again believer. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me and remains the best thing, no matter what’s going on in my life. No matter what stupid thing I do to bring crap on myself, God hauls me through it by the seat of my pants and sets me upright on the other side with a hug and a kind word and a tissue for my sniffles. And then he gives me a gentle push to keep me going in the right direction.
Being born-again is the greatest state of being on Earth. There is nothing greater. How do I know this? Because Jesus, during his temptation in the desert, turned down the devil’s offer to control the world and all its resources if Jesus would just worship him. Jesus instead chose loving God and the rewards that come with loving God as being greater than the rewards that come with having all the wealth and power in the world. That’s how I know that being born-again is the greatest state of being on Earth.
We need to thank God every day, all day, for this very great gift that no amount of money can buy.
So what’s the greatest of all Commandments? To love God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength.
And what’s the best thing about being born-again? Loving God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength, and all the rewards that come with it.