The Greatest Commandment

Jesus was once asked, “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” This question was asked to test Jesus. The answer Jesus gave could be used to raise an accusation against Him. The Pharisees had endless debates about which commandments were greater or lesser. They knew that no one could keep all the commandments perfectly so they decided to identify which commandments were “heavier” than others. Instead of listing the “heaviest” commandments first, Jesus boiled down the law by saying, “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 (Matthew 22:37-38).” Jesus answered the question by telling them that if they would love God with all that they are, there would be no reason to have to rank commandments. And it makes sense. If I love God with all my heart, soul, and mind, I will want to do everything He commands me to do or not do. If I love God I won’t put idols before Him. If I love God I will not take His name in vain. If I love God I will not murder. If I love God I will not covet. If I love God I will love my neighbor as myself. So if I can get a grasp of this basic truth of loving God with everything in me, all the other priorities in life will fall into place. However, we need to understand that loving God is not a one-time decision. We need to refocus our hearts on God every day of our lives because our love for God can grow cold. How can we know if our love for God has grown cold? How can we gain some perspective on where we are in our love relationship with God? Ask yourself these questions three questions:

  1. Do I desire to spend time with God? When you love someone you want to spend time with them. You enjoy their company and companionship. If a husband and wife are living separate lives, never spending time together, there is a lack of love in the relationship. So consider how much time you are spending time with God. If you really love Him you will want his company.
  1. Do I love the things God loves? Jesus loves His church. Jesus loves lost souls. Jesus loves the word of God. Jesus loves serving. Do you love these things?
  1. Do I keep God’s commandments? Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). This isn’t hard. If you love God you will do what He says. The proof of your love is in your actions.

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