Matthew 22:36-40 NIV
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 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.”
We are living in times where culture dictates where, when, how, and why we worship. Cultural nuances, if we are honest with ourselves, can cause us to lose focus and place other things, even good things, at the center of our lives: careers, travel, leisure, entertainment, and social media just to name a few. And we, like in the times of Christ, may have substituted God’s perfect word for our own self-centered ambitions. When we think of what is important, we often think of what can get us to our next great thing.
The religious leaders in this Matthew passage are seemingly doing the very same thing. They have been questioning Jesus repeatedly with questions that summarily ask, “Which command in the law is the greatest?” In other words, what’s the most important thing for us to do so we can be the best at it?
But Jesus is noticeably clear. The most important thing any of us can do, the greatest command is LOVE. For God is the definition of love and we must love God with everything in us. Only then are we able to love ourselves and love others.
Friends, life is ultimately about relationships. The most important relationship in our life, is our relationship with God. That loving relationship with God through Jesus Christ gives us the capability to love ourselves and others all the more. Let us remember what the Apostle Paul said in his first letter to the Corinthians, whatever we do without love is absolutely worthless. So, let’s empty ourselves of everything that is incompatible with God’s love and love Him unconditionally.
Father God we are excited to spend the Lenten season focused on Your love for us, our love for you and our love for others. Please help us to learn more about Your love and help us to love others unselfishly. Thank you for having Your Holy Spirit show us the greatest gift of all, Love through Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Call to Action
Tell somebody every day during this Lenten season how much you love them. Then, tell them that this love is based on your love of God and the wonderful love He has shown you. Remembering, it’s all about love!