Pilot Knob Lutheran Church
Volume 84 February 2017
The greatest commandment is what? All the law is summed up in the greatest commandment according to Moses and Jesus. It is a commandment that when practiced all other laws, commands and decrees fall into place.
The greatest commandment is, ‘Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” It’s not a command that must be followed by a dozen or more, but one that when kept takes care of the rest without even thinking about it.
If you love God, will you ignore him or replace him with something or someone else? Will you misuse his name or stay away from worship? Of course not! Love brings people, and God together, to enjoy their company and grow together. If you love someone you don’t want to leave them out of your life but become an active participant.
Incidentally, isn’t it interesting that the God of scripture is one whom we can love and he loves us back. In fact he began the love cycle by creating us, dying and rising for us. No other religion outside Judaism and Christianity has a God that is personal and loving.
When Jesus was asked by a Sadducee which is the most important law (Mt. 22:34-36), he included the second most important law, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love for neighbor (anyone you meet), comes only after the first commandment. We can’t properly love without loving God with our whole being, for it is Jesus who taught and showed us real love as he hung on the cross.
To love our neighbor is not only to love those who love us in return but all people, friend and foe. This can be a daily challenge as we read in Luke 6:27-28 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”
As we go through life and experience social and relational bruises our love can easily diminish and not even be aware of it. That’s why Jesus says to the church in Laodicea, ‘You are neither hot nor cold.’ In other words their love had diminished for God and others.
It’s a good idea to look at our own lives and ask, has our love for God and others grown lukewarm or even cold? Do we serve with the same passion we once had? Is God the most important one to satisfy? If so, great, continue in that vain. If not ask God to renew the Holy Spirit’s passion within you toward God and your neighbor.
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