Scripture: Master, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; (Matt. 22:36-37 KJV).
This testimony was given by the disciple Matthew. He stated that a lawyer approached Jesus wanting to know the greatest commandment in the Book of the Law. The Book of the Law is Deuteronomy, it is the fifth book in the Bible, located in the New Testaments.
According to Jesus, the greatest commandment requires believers to love God and surrender themselves totally, meaning heart, soul, and mind. This is possible when we surrender our lives and offer our bodies as a living sacrifice unto God, which is our acceptable and reasonable service; (See Rom. 12:1).
“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength”; (Deut. 6:5).
Jesus cited Deuteronomy 6:5 as the greatest commandment in the Law. Obeying this command seems impossible in man’s natural state. Man cannot possibly love God with all his heart, soul, and strength in a fallen state. How can we possibly love God wholeheartedly, soul, and strength if we don’t know Him?
Christians are empowered by the Holy Spirit. It is His power that enables us to accomplish impossible feats. Loving others requires us to have a personal relationship with God. Our relationship with our Father encourages us to share His love with others. We must develop a close relationship with Him first and learn what His desires are for us. Until that happens, we can’t possibly love our neighbors.
As we begin to grow spiritually, we become aware of the depth of God’s love for us. We become mindful of the sacrifice that He made for all of mankind alike. His passion runs so deep for us that He sacrificed Himself, even though we didn’t love Him. This type of love is unconditional. This love goes beyond all human knowledge, more than any love we’ve ever known. God is love, and there is no greater love than God’s radical love for his children.
The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to love God and love people. His love purifies our hearts. The golden rule tells us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. That means that we should treat others as we want to be treated. Spending time with God proves the level of our love for Him. As God’s children, we are made in His image and likeness; (Gen. 1:26).
In God’s likeness means a mental, moral and social equivalency. Mentally, human beings are rational. We’re equipped with the ability to reason and choose. But, again, this is a reflection of God’s intelligence. Morally, we’re created in His righteousness and perfect innocence, which is a reflection of God’s holiness. Socially we’re designed to fellowship with other human beings. When we’re in relationships, we’re demonstrating our ability to commune as He communes with us.
Today we bear the image of God, but we also bear the image of sin. Mentally, morally, socially, and physically, we show the effects of sin. When God redeems an individual, He begins to restore the original image creating a “new self, to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). Through Christ, we are made new creations; (1st Cor. 5:17).
May you walk in favor, blessings, and unspeakable joy as you grow in the wisdom of God. In Jesus’s name. Amen.