Title: The Greatest Commandments: Loving God and Loving Others

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Devotions, Gods' Law

Week 6 – Day 5 – Gods’ Law

Scripture: Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)

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 neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Devotional:

I used to think that the Ten Commandments were an unachievable burden that would preclude me from Heaven. So what was the point of pursuing a relationship with Jesus if I would never be acceptable in His sight. Obviously in my mind, I had no clue who God was and my perception was the same as many others. God was out to get me big time.

I now see it very differently.

Now I see God’s laws as the perfect way to live in harmony with Him and others. By understanding God in the same way I hope all of you are starting to, my perceptions have totally changed except for one thing. I still think God’s out to get me……because He loves me and doesn’t want me to be lost.

What Jesus meant in todays devotional is that by loving God first we fulfil the first four commandments and by loving our neighbours (co inhibitors of the planet) as we love ourselves we fulfil the last six. This clearly demonstrates the character of God not as one to punish but to love. This in many ways removes the imperial law frame from my perception of God’s laws and clearly shows them as a principled and serene way to live in grace and under grace.

So who loses when we live this way and why do do many reject it?

Well in my mind, corporate religion and Satan are the losers in this framework and people reject it because they have been driven by a fear narrative that supports their ethos of control.

Just like the world we live in today. The antidote to control is to reject it. When you are drowning in information and you don’t know who or what to believe then commit yourself to a simple test the way I do. Is the motive and method behind who is speaking to me, one of love centred on others or am I being bribed or coerced into the proposition on the table. One of these methods is the right one and the other is not in our best interests. You decide. 

In the profound words of Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus distills the essence of God’s expectations for His people into two foundational commandments. Love God with all your being and love your neighbour as yourself. These commandments are not mere suggestions; they are the cornerstone of our faith and the pathway to a life of purpose and fulfilment.

  1. What does it mean to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind?
  1. How can we practically demonstrate love for our neighbour’s?
  1. How do these commandments encompass the entirety of God’s Law and how does that impact on your view of God?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, Papa God, we thank You for the profound simplicity of Your commandments to love You with all our being and to love our neighbours as ourselves. Grant us the grace to wholeheartedly devote ourselves to You and to extend Your love to those around us. May Your Holy Spirit empower us to embody the love of Christ in all that we do, that we may fulfil Your will and glorify Your name. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Graham Hood

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