The Greatest Commandment

JESUS SPEAKING

                Then one of the scribes came and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”  Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.  And you shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, will all your mind, and with all your strength.’  This is the first commandment.  And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.”  So the scribe said to him, “Well said teacher.  You have spoken the truth.” (Mark 12: 28-32.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                A teacher of God’s law happened by and was captivated by the wisdom of Jesus.  The scribe tested him by asking which commandment was the most important.  The Lord responded by proclaiming the oneness of God.  What separated the Jewish people from every other culture was their faith in one God; an almighty and unseen Creator (unlike the surrounding pagan cultures who worshipped many Gods.)  Jesus identified man’s place in relation to the One True and Living God; every person has been designed by God to be in fellowship with Him (to love Him with their whole heart, soul, mind, and strength.)  The second commandment was an expression of the first; complete love for God would be revealed in true love for others.  It says in 1 John, If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar.”  Loving God and loving others are the same commandment; it is impossible to do one without the other.  A person who claims to be near to God, and to love and cherish Him completely, but seems distant, cold, and unloving toward others is either deceived or disobedient (neither of which is good.)  [Note:  Many leaders and members in the church, who proclaim to be close to God, reveal, through their indifference toward others, that they are very distant from Him.] 

                Some weeks ago, I was walking and praying to God behind the coffee shop where I study.  I was practicing, one of the greatest commandments (loving God with my whole heart, mind, soul and strength.)  After having made my connection with the Lord in prayer, I was headed back to the coffee shop to continue studying, when God gave me the opportunity to love another person as I would love myself.  Glancing over at the intersection next to the coffee shop, I spotted an accident; a truck had flipped over on its side.  I rushed across the street; I arrived at the scene to find most people standing at a distance; there was a woman who was trapped inside the overturned vehicle.  The police and the fire department had not yet arrived, so I moved forward and cleared away some debris.  I got down on my stomach and was able to slide my head and one of my arms between the concrete and the driver’s side window opening.  The girl inside was young, and obviously upset.  She was hanging in place by her seatbelt.  I held her hand, and reassured her that everything was going to be okay.  I talked with her as the tears flowed from her eyes.  After a short while, the fire department arrived, I told her that I would be praying for her, and she had the sense of mind to say ‘thank you.’  I walked away from the accident knowing that I had loved that woman as myself; the love of God, a God that lived within my heart had made Himself known to that woman in the hour of her greatest need.

                There is one God, and the two greatest commandments He has given are actually one in the same.  Those who love God and draw near to Him, become like Him.  He is kind; He is compassionate; He is loving; He is merciful; He is truthful; and those who love Him with all of their heart are moved to love others as God loves them.  Throughout your day, connect with God in prayer; cherish His words and hold them within your heart, and contemplate His truth within your mind.  If He is the priority in your life, then you will have a supernatural love for others that will shine the like sun; a love that cannot be denied; a love that comes from the One True and Living God.

                “Lord Heavenly Father we desire to be close to You, and to be in love with You; fill us with Your Holy Spirit.  May our hearts be completely devoted to You, and to others.  Give us opportunities throughout the day to express our love for You, in the lives of those around us.  Use us to reveal Your goodness to the world.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you.   

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