This is what Jesus says we must do. This is the most important thing, according to him. What is interesting is that Jesus, who knows a whole lot, including the hearts of men, chooses to answer a one - answer question, with two answers. He tells us that All the Law (a vast do-and-don't database) and All the Prophets can be distilled to these essentials... hmmm. All means all. Law..... Prophets.... This tells us that when we violate the Law, or fail to apply the wisdom of the Prophets, we are either not loving God, or not loving our neighbor (and remember, Jesus tells us these are flip sides of the same coin, goes so far as to say that not loving our neighbor is not loving God: "first be reconciled to your brother...." ).
Now, I don't like the notion that breaking a commandment means that I am not loving God. It is a nagging rebuttal from the peanut gallery, that rings out when I am trying to bask in self-righteousness, or privately congratulate myself on my down-to-earth spirituality. I would LOVE to correct Jesus. (Whoa, Lord! you've made a mistake in your thinking... let me explain it to you...) To tell us that obeying the Law, and applying the wisdom of the Prophets, are manifestations of loving God and my Neighbor, and that these two things are the One Thing that matters most to God, is shining an inconvenient light into the corners and shadows of religion.
TJG, you ask if your vices keep you from belonging to God:
I cannot say that I have fully given my life to God or Jesus, I have lots of attachments like beer, money, etc.
Reckon these vices keep me from belonging to God?
I think everything already belongs to God, but here is perhaps some food for thought.
- Must you love God in order to surrender to him? Hopefully these are issues of degree, with a correlation between them.
- If drunkeness and goldigging cut the telephone line to God, What about hypocrisy, chasin' ho's (or just thinking about it :D), overeating, ...driving past the homeless, hungry dude on the way to Wallyworld to get a fishing license? ...ordering the first (or any) crusade? What sins are exempt?