(3rd entry from Grace Park Family Devotional Guide)
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
There are some things that you just cannot separate. They belong together. You cannot even imagine them being apart and on their own. Maybe you can think of some examples. We are about to see one of those instances.
Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment in the Bible was, and He gave an incredibly important answer. He gave an answer that everyone would agree with. He gave an answer that was memorized and quoted by God’s people for a very long time. His answer for the greatest commandment in the Bible was to love God with your everything. To love Him with all of your heart, soul, and mind. To love God with every single part of your life.
Most people would think that it ends right there, that loving God is enough. But, Jesus adds something to it. He sees that you cannot separate loving God with something else. He says that there is another commandment that is like the first…that you cannot separate from the first, and it is this: love other people as you love yourself.
Jesus says that you cannot separate your relationship with God from your relationship with other people. You cannot separate your love for God with your love for all other people. If you really truly love God, you will love all other people…and you will love them as you love yourself. You will want what is best for them. You will pray for good to happen to them. You will be nice to them and be a friend to them and share Jesus with them, because that is what you want for yourself.
Jesus says you cannot separate loving God from loving others as yourself. If you are not loving others, you are not loving God. If you are really loving God, you are loving others, because He loves them as much as He loves you. And you know what? He loves you a lot. He loves you so much that He died for you. And, He loves every person you know so much that He died for them.
We cannot separate our love for God from our love for all other people.
– What are some things that are impossible to separate? (i.e. cookies & milk, or jokes & laughter)
– Why do you think those things have to be together?
– Is there anyone in your life that you are treating differently than you would want to be treated?
– Are you fully loving God with your life? How?
I love you.
I pray that today you and I experience and grasp the fullness of God’s love for us. I pray that you and I will see every single person today and tomorrow the way that God sees them and act towards them the way that we would want to be treated. I pray that you and I will love God by loving every single person we come in contact with. God, we love you and we want to love this world the way that you do so that they will know how much you love them. Amen.