Matthew 22:37-40: “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.””
Growing up, my goal in my faith was to love God and others. I thought that to accomplish this I had to rigidly follow the guidelines that God has placed and be the most “Christian” person I could; whatever that means.
In my years of attempting to fulfill this impossible and false goal, I realized that I was going about it all wrong. Not only could I never measure up to the unrealistic expectations I placed on myself, but in doing this I felt so distant from God and others.
Now, I’m not saying that the Biblical law is wrong or bad. In fact, I think it’s one of the most sacred and beautiful parts of Christianity. That Abba would care for us so much that He gives us specific directions so that we can be protected in the end.
What I am trying to convey is that in my own faith, I have found it difficult to have both abundant love and obedience to God’s Word. In fact, I know I’m not the only one who has struggled with this battle.
The Pharisees and Sadducees had just the same problem. They had good intentions in trying to please God by following the Torah and all the other rules that existed, but they went about it all wrong.
Instead of giving love freely, they only showed favor to those who followed the commands as they did. Although they kept God’s commands, they were not loving. They followed the commands to obey and love God, but they forgot the second part, to love others.
It seems simple, but it’s the greatest law that God has given Christians (Matthew 22:37-39).
Every commandment is built upon love. Some are founded on the love and respect for God and some are to love others or even yourself (Matthew 22:40).
When our first response to others is love we are able to reveal how precious they are.
Jesus was the purest example of this through His own ministry on earth. He didn’t focus on and condemn when people weren’t following the rules, because worth isn’t found in what you do.
Our first response should always be love. Christians should live by example and advocacy, but the most important part is love.
Love made the greatest difference in people during Jesus’ ministry to and it will be one of the most impactful things you can do in your own life. Live by the simple command to love others with your full being. We show love and obedience to God through following His Word’s to love others. Love brings out the grandeur in others, just like Christ did that for us.