The Great Commandments

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him,  “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.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.
– Matthew 22:36-40, ESV

One of the Facebook pages I follow, NGEN Radio, posed the question: “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. What does it mean to love God like this?”  And that was the inspiration for today’s blogpost.

Nine years ago, I dedicated my life to the LORD.  It was a decision that definitely changed my life.  I lost my job so I could find Him.  I’ve made a lot of mistakes in those nine years.  But it all taught me one important fact.  Nobody’s perfect, except Him who made us.  And He gave us free will which makes us imperfect.  Through that free will, we have the choice to serve others or serve ourselves.

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi,who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.
– John 9:1-3, ESV

Just like this man was blind to display the glory of God, so the seeming injustice of this world exists to show the works of God.  We are disgusted by it and resolve to do something about it.  Why are we disgusted?  It’s the action of the Holy Spirit within us that prompts us to put others above ourselves.

We volunteer in prison or the hospital.  We offer food to the needy.  We carry groceries for a little old lady.  And we expect nothing in return.  That is loving our neighbors as we love ourselves.

I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
– Matthew 25:35-40, ESV

This tells me that the act of loving others is, simultaneously, loving God.  So, what does it mean to love God?  It means to love unconditionally, no matter who your neighbor may be – even a registered sex offender or murderer on parole.

Come on people, smile on your brother, everybody get together, gotta love one another right now!

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One Response to The Great Commandments

  1. Dustin says:

    I’m always inspired when I read “love in action” posts. So often we (myself) talk a good game, but don’t have any actions behind our pretty words. Thanks for the reminder, Jim.

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