The First And Greatest Commandment

Jesus said the two great commandments are

You shall love the Lord your God will all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. –Deuteronomy 6:5, Matthew 22:37

and

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. –Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 22:39

These two great commandments are not just some rules God made up for us because they happen to be good rules to live by, though they certainly are. God created us to love Him and love others. I want to camp out on this idea for a minute. I was made to love God and to love other people. We were created for relationships.

Ravi Zacharias puts it this way, “. . . God has fashioned us with two great commandments in mind: to know and love Him and to know and love our fellow human being. Those two commandments are inextricably bound.”

Each of us longs to be known and loved and to know and love. So often, we either pervert these two great commandments or we attempt to quiet these longings. We try to satisfy the desire for relationship with physical encounters or shallow friendships. As the old country song says, we look for love in all the wrong places. All the while, our Creator gently pursues us, offering Himself and a completely satisfying relationship with Himself. He lovingly nudges us to remember our place within the community of His people, reminding us to gather with the rest of the Body and take care of each other. He knows that a relationship with Him and with His people are the only ways to satisfy these longings because this is how He made us. The holes inside of us are uniquely shaped, only to be filled by loving relationships with Him and with other people.

Worshipping idols doesn’t satisfy. Religion doesn’t satisfy. Tradition and routine and empty repetitions don’t satisfy. Making myself into a god does not satisfy. I can only be truly satisfied by loving God with every bit of myself and receiving His love, by entering into a relationship with Him.

Lustful, meaningless relationships don’t satisfy. Self-serving friendships don’t satisfy. Shallow acquaintanceships don’t satisfy. I can only be truly satisfied by loving other people as I love myself, true love that comes from Christ within me.

I was created to fulfill these two great commandments. When God knit me together, He knit within me a longing to know Him and love Him, to be known and loved by Him. He knit within me a longing to know and love other people and to be known and loved by them. When I obey these two great commandments, I am complete. I am doing what I was made to do and being who I was made to be.

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Filed under Bible, Christ, Christianity, faith, love

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