Of all of the commandments, which is the most important? (Mark 12:28)

IN A LECTURE given at Westmont College, Dallas Willard stated that holiness and devotion must now come forth from the closet and the chapel to possess the street and the factory, the schoolroom and the boardroom, the scientific laboratory and the government office. Where once only a select few made religion their life, with the power and inspiration realized through spiritual disciplines, all of us can make our daily lives and vocations be “the house of God [and] the gate of heaven” (Gen. 28:17).

It is remarkable how Jesus quoted Leviticus 19:8 without limiting boundaries, and in doing so, the command to love our neighbor as ourselves included not only the Jews, but also the Gentiles. Jesus took an old law and filled it with a new meaning, going beyond the mind of the religious teacher and penetrating his heart. The man answered Jesus’ question wisely. He got it.

The transformation we undergo through the character-shaping connection with God naturally leads us to a public life of service and mission. When this happens, our love for God cannot help but overflow into the public spaces of our life. We begin to see life differently, seeing people as God sees them. We become less judgmental and inwardly focused, and we become more loving and compassionate. We begin to care about what God cares about.

Today, serve someone you have previously bypassed or excluded.

Jeremy Summers is ministry director at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, GA and coauthor of Awakening Grace and Paradox (WPH).