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, with 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 was captivated by the wisdom of Jesus.  He therefore tested Him, asking which commandment was the most important.  The Lord responded by proclaiming the oneness of God.  What made the Jewish people different from every other culture was their faith in God; an almighty Creator (unlike the surrounding pagan cultures who worshipped many Gods.)  Jesus then identified man’s place in relation to the Living God; every individual has been designed by God to walk in fellowship with Him; to love Him with their whole heart, soul, mind, and strength.  The second commandment was an outward expression of the first; love for God is revealed by our love for others.  Loving God and loving others is the same commandment; it is impossible to do one without the other.  A person who claims to cherish and love the Lord, but appears cold and unloving toward others, is either deceived, or walking in willful disobedience (neither of which are good.)

     Many years ago, I was walking and praying to God behind the coffee shop where I used to study.  I was practicing the greatest commandment (loving God with my whole heart, mind, soul and strength.)  After making my connection with the Lord in prayer, I headed back to the coffee shop to continue my studies. Suddenly, God gave me the opportunity to love someone else as I would love myself.  Glancing over at the nearest intersection, I spotted an accident that had caused a truck to flip over on its side.  I rushed across the street, arriving at the scene to find other bystanders standing at a distance. I discovered that a woman was trapped inside the overturned vehicle.  The police and the fire department had not yet arrived, so I moved forward.  After getting down on my stomach, I was able to slide my head and one of my arms between the concrete and the open driver’s side window.  The girl inside was young and obviously in shock.  She was hanging in place by her seat belt.  I held her hand, reassuring her that everything was going to be okay.  As the tears rolled down her face I continued talking with her.  After a short while, the fire department arrived. I told her that I would be praying for her; 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 loving God that lived within my heart had made Himself known to her 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 and 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, contemplating His truth within your mind.  If God is the priority in your life, then you will have a supernatural love for others that will shine like the 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 love 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, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you!   


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