The Two Great Commandments

Jesus replied, “‘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 22:37-39 NLT)
We are commanded in this portion of Scripture to love God and our neighbor.  The second commandment may be the more difficult of the two to keep.  What’s not to love about God, yet concerning our neighbor, most of us can think of a few things.
We are told that the first commandment, loving God, is the greatest, yet, loving our neighbor is equally important.  Is this a contradiction in terms?  Not really.  Verse 40  tells us, “All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”  They are equal in that you have to obey both to fulfill the law. Conversely, you cannot truly love your neighbor without first loving God. What you have here is an equality of the function of love, but a priority of how it applies to our lives, God first, and then our neighbor second.
If we love others more than we love God, we have started to descend into humanism. Meeting the needs of man should not be our primary motivation, but fulfilling the will of God.  Trying to love God without loving our neighbor, God’s creation, is missing part of the equation for satisfying the law. 
The love shown for our neighbors needs to be driven by our love for God.
Our love for God is always demonstrated by how much we love our neighbors.  Though there is a definite hierarchy of our love, God first and then man, one does not exist without the other.
The image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes, the author of  “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing
Email:  [email protected]
Ken Barnes’ Book Site

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