The Essential Commandment
Is it really possible to live out the Great Commandment?
When an expert in the law asked Jesus what the greatest commandment is, Jesus gave a clear and simple answer:
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
But what does the Great Commandment look like on the ground, in our day-to-day lives? And can we even come close to living it out?
Jesus, Greg Ogden believes, has a simple answer to that too. He writes, "Jesus didn't follow [the Great Commandment] up by saying, 'I know I'm asking a lot, but do the best you can. I know you'll never fully approximate this high and lofty goal, but it's still worth striving for.' . . . Jesus thinks this is possible." And with Jesus, Ogden has found, it is possible--and essential.
In this practical, in-depth handbook, Ogden draws from his years of pastoral experience training and discipling others to help us truly be changed by Christ into people who love God and love others with all that we are. Following the format of his bestselling Discipleship Essentials, each chapter includes:
Thoughtful questions will also help you examine your heart and life and move you to open yourself to God's transforming work.
Above all, Ogden helps you see that the Great Commandment is actually a great invitation to join God in bringing his kingdom to earth. And as you learn to do so, you'll find that the greatest commandment leads to the greatest life possible.
"In The Essential Commandment, Greg Ogden has once again taken the complex subject of Christian discipleship and made it truly understandable and personally applicable. After reading this book, you will wonder why more authors have not made the Great Commandment of Jesus their central focus. More importantly, you will be grateful that Ogden has, and that he's given you another essential tool for finding your way and helping others into the deeper life of Christ."
"The Essential Commandment could be a great resource for the development of a church mission. I foresee immense usefulness in the encouragement of outreach to communities with which all churches are surrounded."
Introduction: Jesus Believes It Is Possible! .
1 The Essential Commandment Explained
Part One: Love the Lord Your God . . . with All Your HEART
2. A Broken and Contrite Heart
3. A Listening Heart
Part Two: Love the Lord Your God . . . with All Your SOUL
4. Our Soul Thirsts for God
5. Our Souls . . . Fully Alive . . . to the Glory of God
Part Three: Love the Lord Your God . . . with All Your MIND
6. Putting on the Mind of Christ
7. Renewing the Mind
Part Four: Love the Lord Your God . . . with All Your STRENGTH
8. Focusing Your Energy
9. Growing Healthy Bodies
Part Five: Love Your NEIGBHOR As Yourself
10. Have Mercy for Those in Need
11. Love Those Who Would Do You Harm
12. Demonstrate Compassion: Loves Evidence
Appendix A: How Are We to Understand the Essential Commandment?
Appendix B: The Environment of Transformation