Thinking About “The Great Commandment”

Thinking About “The Great Commandment”

“And He said unto him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).

Little to no regard for human life, hatred, mistreatment and abuse have become the “new normal” for a nation that once prided itself in believing, “In God We Trust.” Should we really be surprised? “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). Our hearts ache for the loss of lives, for the hatred and mistreatment of other human beings – people created in the image of God (cf. Genesis 1:26-28). However, when God becomes “yesterday’s news” in the collective mind of the masses, is it any wonder that human dignity and a moral compass do as well? At a time when “endangered” often is used concerning ecology, maybe we ought to be even more concerned about the “Golden Rule” apparently being on the “endangered” item list relationally (cf. Matthew 7:12).

Christians must NOT simply bemoan the abysmal condition to which America has sunk. We must be salt and light in a world and nation that desperately needs it! (Matthew 5:13-16). Consider these 6 observations regarding “The Great Commandment.”

There Is An Essential Duty – “You Shall Love.” There’s nothing optional here; it is an imperative, a command.

There Is A Worthy Object – “The Lord Your God.” People love, but do we make it our greatest goal to love our Creator, Sustainer and Savior supremely? The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!

There Is A Total Sense of Devotion – “With All Your Heart and With All Your Soul and With All Your Mind.” God’s whole-hearted love for us ought not to be responded to in a half-hearted way by us.

There Is An Ultimate Priority – “This Is the Great and First Commandment.” This commandment is the pulsating motivation for obedience to all the rest of God’s will. This cannot be missed without missing everything.

There Is A Related Connection – “And A Second is Like It.” Loving God and properly loving neighbor are interconnected. There is an unavoidable link between the two – a relationship all people should seek to honor.

There Is A Summary Statement – “On These Two Commandments Depend All The Law and The Prophets.” These are the 2 nails or pegs upon which all the rest of God’s word hangs.

-Mike Vestal


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