The Greatest Thing in Life

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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"'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

Matthew 22:37-38

When asked by some Pharisees which commandment was the most important (or greatest, literally), Jesus cited two passages from the Torah. The first, from Deuteronomy 6:5, was a call to love God with all that we are. The second, from Leviticus 19:18, was a command to love our neighbors as ourselves.

There is nothing more important in life than loving God with all that we are. This is not just an emotional activity. Our love for God includes our whole being. Yet love for God is necessarily joined to love for others. Jesus revealed what was later reaffirmed by John in his first letter: “We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters” (1 John 4:19-21). Thus, one of the major ways we communicate our love for God is by loving people in his name.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: So, how are you doing in your love for God? Do you love God with your thinking? With your actions? How do you express your love for God? Are you loving the people in your life? At home? At work? In the community?

PRAYER: Gracious Lord, this passage makes everything so simple and clear . . . at least on the level of understanding. I’m to love God above all and to express that primary love by loving people. Thank you for putting this so plainly.

The challenge for me is to do what you have said. My love for you is erratic and incomplete. Sometimes it is choked out by my love for myself or for this world. Forgive me, Lord, for loving you with less than my whole self. May your Spirit continually teach me and help me to love you more.

As I do, may I love others more consistently, more sacrificially, more tenderly. Help me to love those who are closest to me: my wife and children, my colleagues and neighbors. May this love be an expression of my love for you. Amen.

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