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The Greatest Commandment is Not About You

God is not after our opinions. God is not after our success. God is not after our livelihoods, or achievements, or any other such thing. God is after our hearts. I say all of this because the Great Commandment is largely ignored within the Christendom: to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Consider if you will, the first part of that command. The only part having to do with you and I is the object of our heart, mind, soul and strength. And God is that Object. He is to be the focus of everything we are and everything we do. Life is about giving Him glory, so how we live and conduct ourselves should be to do just that. In our business dealings, in our plans, in our communities, in our jobs, and in everything, we are to Love God. And the highest form of love is Obedience to His Word and Will.


And the second part of this commandment is just like the First: to love our neighbor as ourself. Again, the object of our love is not ourselves, but our neighbor. And this includes our enemies! Everyone is our neighbor, our nearest neighbors being our families, and our furthest being our enemies. We’re to love them, to pray for them, to seek their well-being. This doesn’t mean we invite everyone in, especially if they mean us harm, but we still pray for them, we go the extra mile for them, and seek to get them to the Lord, if we’re able. But the object isn’t on ourselves or our self-preservation tendencies. It is to love our neighbors as Christ loved us: and Christ died for His neighbors, He also washed their feet, healed them, even when they were ungrateful, and went out of His way, even going so far as to both dine with and openly rebuke His enemies. All this He did to show us how to love our enemies.


The Greatest commandment isn’t about you, and it’s not about me. It’s about where we direct our love. It’s about living to love God, and living to love our neighbors. So stand firm. Stand on God’s word. Love fiercely and sacrificially. Copy Jesus and the Biblical examples of  the men and women who show God’s great Grace and Mercy, and Love God and everyone before yourself.


Deuteronomy 6:4-25


“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.


“And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you—for the LORD your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.


“You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah. You shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies and his statutes, which he has commanded you. And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may go well with you, and that you may go in and take possession of the good land that the LORD swore to give to your fathers by thrusting out all your enemies from before you, as the LORD has promised.


“When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And the LORD showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us.’


Luke 10:25-37


And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”


But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

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