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Basic Training: Love God, Love PeopleSample

Basic Training: Love God, Love People

DAY 1 OF 3

Day 1: Love God

As legend has it, Vince Lombardi, one of the most accomplished NFL coaches ever, started his 1961 training camp off with these words:

Gentlemen, this is a football.

Seems insulting. However, the season before, his team lost a championship game after blowing the lead in the 4th Quarter. So Coach Lombardi decided that it was time to get back to basics, even if his team was made up of athletes with advanced athletic knowledge and skill. He knew that they needed to be reminded to follow the core tenets of the game in order to achieve their goals.

We sometimes need a similar reminder as Christians living in this day and age. We have nearly every book, teaching, translation, and concordance known to man at our fingertips…literally. And it’s easy to feel like we are wielding “PhDs” in following Jesus. But if we fail to truly follow what Jesus calls out as our primary and most foundational elements of our faith, we are sadly missing the mark.

So what are the basics we need to remember?

Well, Jesus spells it out clearly in Matthew 22.

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.

One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.

This is the bedrock of our faith, and it’s imperative that we often recall and anchor ourselves in these foundational words. The idea that God is calling all of us: our love, our devotion, our adoration is a high but transformational call. He doesn't just want to be number one in our lives, rather He desires to be the center of our lives. And if we are going to accomplish what God has called us to, we must truly understand and center on the intent of Jesus’ calling.

So before you move on from this devotional, take a moment to evaluate: How am I doing with this foundational command? Does he hold that center position? Am I willing to get back to basics and focus my heart, soul, and mind on making Jesus the most important part of my life?

The truth is, we can read all the devotionals, listen to all the podcasts, sit through the greatest sermons, and serve generously, but if this fundamental truth isn’t guiding us, we’re failing to obey what Jesus says is most important.


Check out other workouts where we dive deeper into Jesus' words, practising the ways in which we can obey Jesus’ words and this greatest commandment through exercise.

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