‘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.
The greatest commandment, and the essence of the Kingdom of God, is love.
All of the commandments boiled down essentially into one – the command to love.
Jesus’ statement in these verses doesn’t negate the Ten Commandments, but instead summarizes them. The first four commandments deal with our relationship with God and the final six with our relationship with one another. The Ten Commandments are not a list of entry requirements, but instead, commands for those who have entered into loving relationship with God and one another.
The Kingdom of God is all about love. If we are following Jesus we should be becoming more loving – more caring – more giving. In the story “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, the Grinch desperately tries to maintain an uncaring and bitter attitude toward the people of Whoville. The big change comes when his heart grows warm and he begins to feel again. One of the greatest works of God in our lives is to take our hardened hearts and turn them into hearts of love.
How have I grown in my love for God over the last year?
What habits in my life show that I am pursuing Him with all my heart?
Dear Father: May this be a month in which I grow in my love and hunger for you. May I seek you with all of my heart. May I become more aware of your love for people and be continually open to the promptings of Your Spirit to reach out to those around me. And may I be rooted and founded in your deep love. Amen.
Submitted by: Pastor Steve Gahagen