The Greatest Commandment – “Love the Lord Your God”
“Teacher, which is the greatest of all commandment in the Law?” Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind. That is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is similar: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets are hung on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)
What is Love?
Love is perhaps the most intense emotion that we experience as humans. It has a wide range of feelings, states, and attitudes, including interpersonal affection and pleasure. Biblically 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a has the perfect definition of love: love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy; it does not boast; it is not proud. 5: It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6: Lovedoes not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7: It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8: Love never fails (NIV).
How Can We Love God?
The Bible is very clear about our most significant obligation to God – to love Him with the whole of our being. Now the question is: how do we go about loving God who is both invisible and incomprehensible?
How do we show God that we love Him with all of our heart, soul, and mind? Is there a Scripture that explains what it means to love God truly?
Of course, there is! Psalm 119 tells us how to accomplish this sacred responsibility.
Here are ten ways to love God with all of our hearts, in the order in which they appear in Psalm 119:
- (Psalm 119:2, 10, 58) Seek God with all your heart.
- (Psalm 119:7) Praise God with a good heart.
- (Psalm 119:7) Hide the word of God in your heart.
- (Psalm 119:30) Set your heart on the laws of God.
- (Psalm 119:32) Let God dwell in your heart.
- (Psalm 119:34) Obey God’s law with all your heart.
- (Psalm 119:69, 112) Keep God’s commandments with all your heart.
- (Psalm 119:111) Let the Word of God be the joy of your heart.
- (Psalm 119:145) Call upon God with all your heart.
- (Psalm 119:161) Let your heart tremble at the word of God.
Why don’t you dedicate a day over the next ten days to each of these ten specific ways of loving God with all your heart? It’s the essence of the Christian life.
Realizing God Through Love
When we love God, we are constantly changing to acquire His nature. The change is so subtle that we may not even realize it. The divine nature gradually develops in us, just as magnetism develops in a piece of iron when you hold near a strong magnet. Our nature automatically transforms itself to become divine with each passing moment until the time comes when we have become more like God.
If God is perfect, how could His beloved be not perfect? So, love requires no effort to make you perfect, whereas things like knowledge, concentration, and meditation require a lifetime of effort to achieve perfection.
No wonder love is the greatest commandment -it is incredible because it transforms us from within and makes us take God’s very nature. And now, these three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these three is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)