According to a UN Survey on Crime Trends, 500,000 people worldwide are murdered each year. The most recent figures also show that rape, robbery, and drug related crime is increasing all over the world. When we hear reports like these, we often ask why such extensive inhuman acts. Yet these statistics only confirm what the Bible says. In Isaiah 53, we read, “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own.” Jesus would say in Matthew 15:19, “From the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.” In other words, the heart of our problem is the problem of our heart. We are disconnected from God our Creator, and until we are reconnected, we will spiral downward away from Him and righteous behavior. In Matthew 22, we find Jesus’ answer to the vital question of the most important requirement that God expects from people. He said, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Of course, our inability to measure up to this lofty standard is why God sent Jesus to pay our sin debt so we can be reconciled to God. His Spirit inside of us can help us to love God and love people. With God’s help, we can become less self-centered and more compassionate toward others.
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