“One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
‘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.”
Matthew 22:35-40 (NIV)
Recently a visitor asked me to explain how to love God as Jesus commanded and how to love others.
What Jesus taught about the two greatest commandments conforms to the ten commandments as seen in Exodus 20. There we see in vss. 2-11 four commandments telling us how to relate to our Creator. Vss. 12-17 the last six commandments deal with how we relate to each other.
Our Saviour sums up the 10 commandments into 2 using the theme of love. He quotes Deut. 6:5 which commands us to love God with all our being.
But what is this love of which the Bible and Jesus speak? Well we need to understand that the biblical view of love is that love is more a verb than a noun.
Let me illustrate. In 1 Corinthians 13, the “love chapter” of the Bible, we read the following;
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy,
it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
1 Cor. 13:4-5 (NIV)
Here we read of what love does and does not do. So we love God when we obey His commandments. 1 John 5:3 (NIV) says,
“In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.
And his commands are not burdensome…”
Do you find obedience to God a joy or a burden? If joy, then you are truly His child. If a burden, then you need to question your salvation. In John 14:24 (NIV) Jesus said,
“Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching.”
Examine yourself today and consider if you are truly loving God or not. If not, why not?