The Great Commandment

“‘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 great commandment.”

— Matthew 22:37-38

Can you imagine someone commanding love? We can understand how God can command certain actions or even tell us how to speak or think. But to go into that innermost closet, into the depths of our hearts, and to command us to love, seems a breach of our free will. Yet God commands us to love Him.

Why is this the case? There are several reasons. God knows that we’re built to love something supremely. If we don’t love God, we’ll adore something less honorable, less exalted than He. And whatever we love most, we’ll inevitably resemble, just as we become like that which we worship. This is why God says that He is a jealous God and that we should have no gods before Him—not for His sake but for ours. God doesn’t need our love, nor does He need our worship. In fact, He doesn’t need anything from us. But we most definitely need Him. We need to worship and love Him so that our lives might be purified by that love.

If anything can ever lift us from the mire of our sin, it’s the power of love. As we love God and others, we will resist breaching our relationships with sinful thoughts and actions.

Today fix your gaze on Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom, and His love for you, His bride. Let God’s love for you kindle in your heart and spirit a greater love for Him.

“Oh, how I love Jesus . . .
Because He first loved me!”
Frederick Whitfield