Posted by: missionventureministries | April 19, 2011

The Greatest Commandment – Deuteronomy 6:5 and Matthew 22:37-40

“Jesus said to him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your  heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” – Matthew 22:37-40

The two greatest commandments are listed here. When we read the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5, the first four of the ten emphasize are in loving God and the last six loving our neighbor.

The first commandment appears in Deuteronomy 6:5 and the second in Leviticus 19:18 and is commanded by God Himself, “but you shall love your neighbor as you love yourself: I am the Lord.”

The Bible is filled with commandments about loving God and one another: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words which I am commanding you this day shall be first in your own minds and hearts. You shall sharpen them to make them penetrate, and teach them diligently upon the minds and hearts of your children, and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up” – Deuteronomy 6:5-7.

When we carefully read over these verses, we can see that loving God is not an option – it is a commandment. If we love anyone or anything more than the Lord, then that person or thing is our god, but if we love Him with all our might, then He is our God the King of kings and Lord of Lords, our Creator, Redeemer and Savior.

After establishing the first commandment, to diligently serve Him, keep His statutes, precepts, ordinances and obey His every command, He goes on to tell us: “You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself” – Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31.

What happens to religious people who attend church but refuse to love and obey the Lord? There is a difference between going to church for an hour or two on Sunday; and having a deep and spiritual relationship with God the Father through our Messiah Jesus. This is what Jesus Himself said about religious people: ‘Woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe but disregard justice and bypass the love of God … Woe to you, Pharisees! For you love the best seats … Woe to you Pharisees! For you are like graves which are not marked and men walk over them and don’t know it’ – Luke 11:42-44.

On another occasion Jesus said: “I know you and understand that you do not have the love of God in you’ – John 5:42. And Paul mentioned in his letter to Timothy: “They will be lovers of self, rather than lovers of God, for although they have a form of Godliness they deny the power of God. Avoid all such people and turn away from them’ – 2 Timothy 3:2-5.

People who refuse to love God are warned: “Woe to them”. In other words, they are doomed unless they repent of their sins and turn to God. Just going to church and being religious is far from being enough;  neither is claiming a religion. How many hundreds of people are mislead by thinking that claiming to be a Christian is enough to get them to heaven? Yet they rarely attend church; never give God any of their time, and the only time they say the name of Jesus is as an expletive.

Even worse are idol-worshippers praying to statues and having these images in their homes. These, need to be taught and realize that allegiance is to the One and only living God, our Creator and Savior. They need to repent otherwise they will never enter the Kingdom of God. Just simply claiming a religion is not enough. Jesus said: I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – John 14:6

Loving God with all our soul means that we should love God with our whole life – our whole being, it does not mean to be a two hour a week Christian who sits in church and warms a seat, someone who is involved in an empty religion and who finds a way to squeeze God into their lives as a religious afterthought. Furthermore, we should love God even to the point of sacrificing our lives for Him. Jesus Himself did that for us and that is what Jesus is calling us to do. To be acceptable to God, we are to be ‘living sacrifices’. That means we are to live wholly for God, to consciously commit ourselves to loving the Lord, if needed, to the point of death. “I appeal to you, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and well pleasing to God which is your reasonable service” – Romans 12:1.

Jesus loved the Father and He listened, paid attention and obeyed Him. Jesus loved us with all of His life and soul, right up until He breathed His last breath. ‘Before the Passover Feast began, Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and return to the Father. And as He had loved those who were His own in the world, He loved them to the very end’ – John 13:1. Jesus loved us with His whole heart (He loved us enough to die for us), with His whole life and soul (He gave up His spirit for us), with His whole mind (He made a conscious decision to willingly go to the cross for us), and with all His strength (He poured out His blood for us as a living sacrifice) so we need to love God with the same total commitment.

May we learn with the help of the Holy Spirit to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Amen!




  2. I Love learning from the bible everyday is anew! It helps me to stay on the path with Jesus so that I may be honoring Him all day long 🙂 In reading Luke 11:42-44 this is me/us that He is talking to, it’s a reminder to get back on His path of righteousness. To remember He is Holiest over everything and all! Thank You Jesus for Loving all of us 🙂

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