Have you ever wondered what the greatest commandment is? According to Jesus, it is love.
The Greatest Commandment Is Love
I’ve often referred to Matthew 22:37-39, but I want to look at it more closely today. It says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.“
This verse was, in fact, part of my prayer of dedication this morning. (Although most days I feel as if I should have spent far more time in prayer, I do try to dedicate each day to the Lord.)
Today I considered the things on my To Do list and wondered which of them I could honestly say I was doing for Him, as an evidence of my love for Him.
Faith, Hope, and Love
Last time we talked about how fleeting the things of this world are. We talked about the three things that remain: faith, hope, and love—love being the greatest of them. So what we do will not last but why we do it very well could.
Just how important is loving God and what does it have to do with our day-to-day endeavours?
Love God And Love Others
We must remember that it was Jesus speaking in today’s passage. He was answering the question, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
For the Lord, it all boiled down to two things: love God and love others.
It’s easy to say, “Of course I love God.” But we must examine how we spend our time, energy, and financial resources. Beyond that, we must consider why we do what we do. We must realize that we can do the right things for the wrong reasons.
Now, I’m not saying these things to burden or depress you—or myself. Just like we must first recognize that we’re sinners before we acknowledge that we need a saviour, we must recognize that our motivation may not be what it should be before we realize we must go to God and ask Him to purify our motives. And we can rest assured that’s a prayer He is most willing to answer.
And if we’re to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, we can see it’s more than what has been recently called having “the warm fuzzies.” It isn’t just about how we feel; it’s about doing the right thing for the right reason, as evidence of our love for God.
Take Our Thoughts Captive To Christ
And what about our thoughts? If we are to love the Lord with all our mind, we must be careful to take our thoughts captive to Christ as it says in 2 Corinthians 10:5. We may think that it doesn’t really matter what we think about and what we focus on, but this verse makes it clear that this isn’t the case.
And how do we take our thoughts captive to Christ? We must diligently study the Scriptures, commit portions of the Word to memory, remain prayerful at all times as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, fellowship with other believers who will hold us accountable to do what God requires.
Before I move on to talking about how we can truly love others, I want to give you some very good news. Whether you’re the head of an international ministry or a stay-at-home parent who is caring for your family, if you do what you do because you love the Lord and are seeking to honour Him, You are walking in obedience. While others may or may not know you, God does. He knows everything about You. And anything you do because of your love for Him, I venture to say, puts a smile on His face.
If You Love God, Then Love Your Brother
How can we know if we love the Lord? Well, 1 John 4:20 gives us one test. It says, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”
I still have a tough time wrapping my head around this. It seems so much easier to love God, who sent His Son to die in my place and pours out His blessings on me every day, than to love others, who are often unlovable in the worst ways.
But then I remember the story of the man who was forgiven a huge debt only to go out and beat a second man who owed him the equivalent of a few dollars.
Ignore The Needy, Ignore Jesus
Do I really understand God’s love for me and how very much He forgave me if it doesn’t motivate me to extend forgiveness, mercy, and grace to those who have wronged me in some way? And if I do not show this kind of love for others, do I truly love the Lord?
According to Matthew 25, if I do not seek to meet the needs of the hurting, the lonely, and the needy in society, it’s as if I’m ignoring Jesus Himself. That gives me something to think about!
How about you? Will you seek to be motivated by love this day?
If you have enjoyed reading this post and wish to send us a comment or share a prayer request, please don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know.
Images courtesy of:
Stone Tablets- Shawshank61
Holding Hands- Ashley Amos
Father’s Day- Dagon