Monday, 30 May 2011
The Greatest Commandment
Luke 10: 27 … “Love the Lord your God with all you heart, soul, strength and mind” … “Love your neighbours as you love yourself.”
This command is said by Jesus to be the most important and very often we give it a little tick on our Christian checklist and continue on. What does it mean to love God with all you’re heart, soul, strength and mind? Is it putting Jesus above everything else in your life and making Him Lord of your life? Is it doing everything you do for God, as acts of worship? Is it obeying the commands given to us in the Bible?
In Revelation 2, Jesus is speaking to the church in Ephesus, through the revelation He gave to John. Jesus starts off by commending them for all their good works, their perseverance in tough times, their intolerance for evil men, their endurance for the name of Christ and not growing weary. This seems like quite an excellent church, well run, enduring, holding on to truth and the name of Jesus, not allowing the influence of evil to penetrate their community. The Ephesus church must have been feeling quite pleased until the BUT came. Jesus rebukes them for leaving their First love. Could they have missed the mark of the greatest commandment given to us? Their actions and deeds in the church were great; they followed the teachings in the Bible and stood strong for their beliefs, however when the heart behind these actions, the heart behind the church, was examined they were found to wanting. Could they of been to concerned about the works of the church? Were they too busy and in this lost their First Love? The end result for the church in Ephesus is that they don’t exist today, a warning given by Jesus if they did not repent and give their hearts fully back to him.
This was quite a scary letter given to the church, showing the importance of where our hearts are while we go about our works. We need to examine our hearts all the time and not get caught in the trap of ‘the more work we do and busier we are the better.’ Love supersedes all the works, gifting and experiences – love is there till the end. We are told in 1 Corinthians 13 that love is the greatest, that it never fails and that we don’t gain much from our actions without love. Jesus loved across race, across culture and across divides. Jesus loved the lonely, the hurt, the outcast, and even those that were considered hard to love. Importantly though, in all that loving and in all that work that Jesus did on this earth, He didn’t forget His Father and He stayed connected to God through love – perfect, pure, unconditional love.
Maybe that’s why Jesus responded when asked what the greatest command was, saying it is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. The second most important commandment being that we are to love others as you love yourself.
Through loving Christ and ensuring our hearts are sold out for Him, it will overflow into our lives, be it in works, outreach, or any daily thing. The love of Christ cannot be kept in when Jesus is our First Love, it would be like trying to put a lid on an erupting volcano, that lid is going to go flying.
Examine your heart daily; be careful not to get caught up in works or just making God another piece of your life that finds its place on Sundays, in a scheduled quite time, or a weekly ministry. God doesn’t want to be a part of your life, He wants your life; for whoever loses their life for the sake of Christ will find it (Matt 10:39).
The war was won by the love of Christ, which is available to us to bring transformation in our lives and to be used by us to transform this world.
Love is kind, patient, never jealous, never boastful, never proud or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered and it doesn’t keep a record of wrongs. Love rejoices in the truth, it is supportive, loyal, hopeful and trusting. Love never fails! (1 Corinthians 13).
Posted by Marius