Read: Galatians 5:1–15

For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14

Many people think of the Bible as a book of rules, and, in truth, there are plenty of commands and laws that our faith ancestors wanted us to keep. In fact, one of the great blessings that God offered the world through the Hebrew people was a set of laws that were intended to help give order to what can often feel like a rather chaotic existence. The apostle Paul was a Jew. He had lived much of his life trying to uphold all the laws of the Jewish people. Paul knew the law inside and out. But as he began to follow Jesus, he began to cleave to and preach about one of Jesus’ most important teachings. All the laws in the Bible can be reduced to a single command: love. Love God and love your neighbor. Treat people the way you want to be treated, and you will fulfill every command God gave to Moses and the Israelite people on Mount Sinai. Love fulfills the law—always! When we love both our God and those around us, we discover that we are in fact being law abiders.

Do you need rules because you are reluctant to love?

Lord, I have a choice to make. I can try to follow and fulfill every rule in the Bible, or I can ignore them as if they do not pertain to me, or I can try to act out of a love for all people and trust that love will fulfill every rule You have set for me. Love is hard . . . If it were easy everyone would be doing it. But following all the commands and rules in the Bible may be even more complicated. Help me to choose the simple but demanding path toward pleasing You: love. In Your name, I pray. AMEN.