June 08, 2016

The Greatest Commandment

When asked which was 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”” (Matt 22:38-39 NIV). It occurs me that today’s church focuses more on the second commandment, than it does on the first. The religious landscape is saturated with sermons, Bible studies and books on believer’s relationships with one another. However, expository teaching, preaching and instruction is sparse when it comes to loving God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----I love to listen to people speculate on what love is. I’m not sure if I’ve ever really heard a sermon present a satisfactory concept of love. Usually the attempt either orbit’s the worn out notion of “unconditional”, which is not at all an articulation, but instead is a categorization. Or it just offers the notion of service for love.
-----Love as service seems at least to be a venture along the right road to a definition. But serving Baal is not love, although it is service, at least to Baal. Radical Islamists are so self-enamored by their service to Allah that they delight in burning precious young ladies for refusing to be their sex slaves. This in no way is love. But it is yet real service to Beelzebub.
-----The first fundamental of love is its involvement with truth. Love and truth are inseparable. The image of Jefferson on one side of a nickel is entirely different from the image of the Whitehouse on the other side, yet both images make the nickel. Service is one thing. Truth is another. But service can not be love unless it benefits truth. We are not loving our neighbor by comforting his atheistic beliefs.
-----The second fundamental about love is its involvement with everything as born out by the truth. It does not take much digging to strike the import of love’s involvement with everything. Christ upholds the universe by the word of His power, and “…in Him all things hold together.” (Col 1:17) All things were created through Him and for Him. Therefore, for love to be love, it must extend from focus on Him since He is the support of all things.
-----The third fundamental about love is that it is relational. God, who knows all things knows how all things interrelate. The annoying old “everything is interconnected” Eastern philosophy thing is indeed true in Jesus Christ. It is not true in their philosophy because their philosophy has left out a thing (Jesus) which is also interconnected, thus falsifying its own claim of “all things”. Don’t fear the fact that Jesus interrelates with even Satan. It’s a rather negative relationship. But relationship is relationship whether positive or negative.
-----Now. About that service thing. It is rather narrow. Love builds up. It benefits. It does not tear down or destroy unless tearing down or destroying is in the process of building up or benefiting (like God will tear down and destroy all evil ones so He can build up and benefit all righteous ones.) Our love for God builds up and benefits all aspects of His involvement in all things. It is just that we are extraordinarily limited to a tiny minuscule space at a fleeting moment at a time with a pitifully short supply of intelligence, abilities, and hardware. So our love for God with our whole body is to use all the abilities and supplies we have to build up and benefit in His estimation whatever becomes an effectible part of any situation we are in, then to pray about the rest. To love Him with our entire soul is to desire only being beneficial to Him and aiming ourselves at building up and benefiting His affects. To love Him with our whole mind is to seek the truth about everything, searching for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom as He would know, understand, and perceive, and using what of it that has been found to benefit the search for more.
-----Until we come to this point we can not fully and truly love. But then, in our temporal existence, we never fully come to this point. And that is why the final fundamental about love is that it is an ongoing process mostly made of what He does through us.

Love you all,
Steve Corey