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The greatest commandment

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment (Mark 12:29–30 KJV)

Brotherly love image showing a city square with the levers of love carved on a stature

A lawyer once asked Jesus to tell them the greatest commandment in the Law. The Law had the ten commandments and hundreds of ceremonial laws. Jesus did not quote any of the explicit ten commandments. He quoted Deuteronomy 6:4 and said the first commandment was to love the Lord with everything inside of us, and the second was like the first, which was to love your number as yourself.

Love is the summary of the entire Law. It might not appear to be the case superficially, but the whole Law is about loving God and loving people. Note it did not say love people as the first commandment but to love the Lord. In these days of grace, where God has demonstrated His love through the cross, we have become accustomed to receiving the love of God. There is no doubt this is critical for our wellbeing. I still think many believers do not receive enough of the Love of our God in their hearts.

However, God explicitly also commands us to love Him. God loves you, and that is wonderful, but He wants you to love Him in response. Your love for Him is seen in the way you obey His word.


How does God want us to love Him from our primary scripture above? What does it mean to love Him with all our hearts?


Receive God’s love and love Him too. If you love Christ, you will not touch that unmarried girl or go after that married man, for example,  because you know it will grief or break His heart. You will walk in love or joy because that pleases Him. Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.


Ask the Spirit to pour His love in your heart to love Him. 

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